In the wake of Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris, national Republican leaders have begun calling for tightening U.S. borders against Syrian refugees or shutting them altogether. A top Tennessee state lawmaker upped the rhetoric Wednesday, calling for refugees already in the state to be expelled from his state.
“We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them from coming in to the state by whatever means we can,” House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada said about the state’s refugees, The Tennessean reports. “We need to gather (Syrian refugees) up and politely take them back to the ICE center [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and say, ‘They’re not coming to Tennessee, they’re yours.'”
The U.S. has resettled about 1,800 refugees from Syria so far in 2015, according to statistics compiled by the State Department, and the White House pledged to admit at least 10,000 more over the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.
Fears over refugees were stoked by implications that one of the Paris attackers may have crossed into Europe with Syrian migrants. This has not been confirmed, but it has turned into a political wedge issue in the United States, with GOP candidates staking out positions against the entry of more refugees and President Obama attacking them for doing so.