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Here Are All the Governors Pushing to Ban Syrian Refugees in Their States—and How to Contact Them

As the debate over whether to welcome those fleeing violence in their home country intensifies, these are the elected officials taking a hardline stance.

Here Are All the Governors Pushing to Ban Syrian Refugees in Their States—and How to Contact Them

image via (cc) Flickr user marcn

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” reads the closing paragraph of Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus.” In the more than 130 years since it was written, the poem’s message of welcome has become synonymous with that all-American symbol of freedom and refuge—the Statue of Liberty, where Lazarus’ words sit, affixed in bronze, at the sculpture’s base. However, in the aftermath of last week’s brazen and bloody attacks on the streets of Paris, a growing number of American politicians have taken public stands against welcoming one specific group of poor, huddled masses—Syrian refugees, who are yearning to escape the horrific violence that has reduced their home country to rubble.


While refugee travel routes across Europe and the Mediterranean Sea are thought likely to have played a role in the Paris massacre, There are indications that those responsible for carrying out the attacks were not, themselves, from Syria at all. Still, last week’s violence has prompted politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to re-examine their policies when it comes to addressing the ongoing crisis that has forced millions of Syrians to seek asylum in foreign lands. In France, for example, President Francois Hollande has pledged to welcome 30,000 Syrian refugees into his country over the next two years, calling it a “humanitarian duty.” In the United States, however, more than half of the country’s governors have declared that they will refuse Syrian refugees entry to their states.

In a letter to President Obama, Texas Governor Greg Abbott explains that he has directed his state’s Health & Human Services Commission's Refugee Resettlement Program not to comply with the settlement of Syrian refugees, claiming the Lone Star state “cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees—any one of whom could be connected to terrorism—being resettled in Texas.” It’s a sentiment shared by dozens of governors, nearly all of them Republican. While opposition ranges from outright rejection of any Syrian refugees to conditional rejection predicated on stronger national security scrutiny for those coming specifically from Syria (a full list of the statements made by these governors has been compiled by NewsHour), they have each, in some way, declared their state’s unwillingness to accept those fleeing the violence in Syria.

The governors opposed to allowing Syrian refugees in their states:

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
Website: governor.alabama.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 334.242.7100
Twitter: @GovernorBentley
Facebook: facebook.com/governorrobertbentley




Arizona Governor Doug Ducey
Website: azgovernor.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 602.542.4331(Phoenix), 520.628.6580 (Tucson)
Twitter: @DougDucey
Facebook: facebook.com/dougducey




Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
Website: governor.arkansas.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 501.682.2345
Twitter: @AsaHutchinson
Facebook: facebook.com/asaforarkansas

Florida Governor Rick Scott
Website: flgov.com
Online Contact Form
Phone: 850.717.9337
Twitter: @FlGovScott
Facebook: facebook.com/scottforflorida​

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal
Website: gov.georgia.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 404.656.1776
Twitter: @GovernorDeal

Facebook: facebook.com/governordeal


Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter
Website: gov.idaho.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 208.334.2100
Twitter: @ButchOtter
Facebook: facebook.com/governor-c-l-butch-otter

Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Website: in.gov/gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 317.232.4567
Twitter: @GovPenceIN

Facebook: facebook.com/governormikepence





























Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
Website: governor.iowa.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 515.281.5211
Twitter: @TerryBranstad
Facebook: facebook.com/terrybranstad




Kansas Governor Sam Brownback
Website: governor.ks.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 877.579.6757
Twitter: @GovSamBrownback
Facebook: facebook.com/govsambrownback




Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Website: gov.state.la.us
Online Contact Form
Phone: 866.366.1121
Twitter: @BobbyJindal
Facebook: facebook.com/bobbyjindal




Maine Governor Paul LePage
Website: maine.gov/governor/lepage
Online Contact Form
Phone: 207.287.3531
Twitter: @Governor_LePage
Facebook: facebook.com/mainesgov




Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
Website: governor.maryland.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 410.974.3901
Twitter: @LarryHogan

Facebook: facebook.com/larryhogan



Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
Website: mass.gov/governor
Online Contact Form
Phone: 617.725.4005
Twitter: @MassGovernor
Facebook: facebook.com/charliebakerma




Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
Website: michigan.gov/snyder
Online Contact Form
Phone: 517.335.7858
Twitter: @OneToughNerd
Facebook: facebook.com/governorricksnyder




Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant
Website: GovernorBryant.com
Online Contact Form
Phone: 601.359.3150
Twitter: @PhilBryantMS
Facebook: facebook.com/im4phil




Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts
Website: governor.nebraska.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 402.471.2244
Twitter: @GovRicketts
Facebook: facebook.com/governorpetericketts




Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
Website: gov.nv.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 775.684.5670
Twitter: @GovSandoval
Facebook: facebook.com/briansandoval




New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Website: state.nj.us/governor
Online Contact Form
Phone: 609.292.6000
Twitter: @GovChristie
Facebook: facebook.com/govchrischristie




North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory
Website: governor.nc.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 919.814.2000
Twitter: @GovOfficeNC
Facebook: facebook.com/officeofgovernormccrory




Ohio Governor John Kasich
Website: governor.ohio.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 614.466.3555
Twitter: @JohnKasich
Facebook: facebook.com/johnkasich




South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Website: governor.sc.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 803.734.2100
Twitter: @NikkiHaley
Facebook: facebook.com/nikkihaley




Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam
Website: tn.gov/governor
Online Contact Form
Phone: 615.741.2001
Twitter: @BillHaslam
Facebook: facebook.com/teamhaslam




Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Website: gov.texas.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 512.463.1782
Twitter: @GregAbbot_TX
Facebook: facebook.com/texansforabbott




Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Website: walker.wi.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 608.266.1212
Twitter: @GovWalker
Facebook: facebook.com/governorscottwalker




Wyoming Governor Matt Mead
Website: governor.wyo.gov
Online Contact Form
Phone: 307.777.7434
Twitter: @GovMattMead
Facebook: facebook.com/governormattmead




In fact, opposition to the resettlement of Syrian refugees on the state level may ultimately be moot, because in issues of immigration, foreign policy, and naturalization, federal authority trumps that of the governors. In other words, President Obama’s plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year is relatively secure, despite gubernatorial saber-rattling that’s likely designed to appeal to populist elements within each of the states in question, rather than actually halt the (relatively small) intake of Syrians into the country.

Regarding the backlash against allowing Syrian refugees into the country, the president had the following to say:

There remains, in fact, a small but vocal group of governors who have resisted calls to oppose settling Syrian refugees. Among them are Colorado’s John Hickenlooper and Minnesota’s Mark Dayton, who told reporters: “I want to protect the people of Minnesota every bit as much those governors want to protect the people of their states. To stand up there with swagger, and say, ‘I’m going to prevent the wrong people from entering my state’ to me is just ludicrous.”

[via vox, newshour]

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