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Phil Bryant

Gov. Bryant says he wants no Syrian refugees in Mississippi

JACKSON — Mississippi’s Phil Bryant is joining several other governors in saying they want to block the federal government from putting any Syrian refugees in their states.

However, Lavinia Limon, president and CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigration, said states don’t have any legal authority to block refugees from being resettled in their communities.

U.S. refugee programs are governed by the Refugee Act of 1980 that created a refugee coordinator for the country and outlined procedures for resettlement within the United States.

A spokesman for President Barack Obama said Sunday that the administration is moving forward with its plan to thoroughly vet and admit as many as 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S.

Bryant, a Republican, said Monday that he is working with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the state Office of Homeland Security to determine whether there are plans to put any of them in the state.

“I will do everything humanly possible to stop any plans from the Obama administration to put Syrian refugees in Mississippi,” Bryant said in a statement. “The policy of bringing these individuals into the country is not only misguided, it is extremely dangerous. I’ll be notifying President Obama of my decision today to resist this potential action.”

The Islamic State group claimed it carried out the fatal attacks Friday in Paris.

Since then, governors of other states — including Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan and Texas— have also said they don’t want Syrian refugees in their states.

Bryant arrived back in Mississippi on Sunday after spending a week leading a state economic development trip to Israel. He spoke at a defense conference in Tel Aviv about Mississippi’s role in researching and building unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

Two Mississippi citizens were arrested in August and accused of trying to join Islamic State. Jaelyn Delshaun Young of Vicksburg and Muhammad Dakhlalla of Starkville have pleaded not guilty to federal charges of aiding terrorists, and they are scheduled for trial in January.

Young, 20, and Dakhlalla, 22, were arrested Aug. 8 before boarding a flight with tickets for Istanbul. Authorities say the couple contacted undercover federal agents in May, seeking online help in traveling to Syria.


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  1. I believe they should be allowed to come ,and allow them to come to undeserved communities.That way the Government would be forced to improve the standard of living in poor neghborhoods and communities.These people are Human and they do deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. And by raising them to be productive they position themselves to strengthen our nation. A wise man once said:A rising tide raises all ships. Of course the entrance of these people require the strictest security measures. But you’re also putting people to work.

  2. Many issues here that deserve serious and immediate consideration by serious citizens if further unnecessary distress is to be mitigated or avoided. I’ll mention two.

    1) Until each state asserts its sovereignty, especially with respect to the federal government, the standard of living of its citizens will continue to decline, but will do so at an accelerated rate. It has become beyond nauseating to hear the bloviatations of mealy-mouthed politicians who speak as though they have the authority or will to stand behind their pronouncements.

    2) The belief expressed in the November 16th 9:56 pm posting is another example of petty superficial sentiment which is far too common among otherwise well-meaning, but grossly misguided stakeholders in the once-sovereign state of Mississippi and the once-Christian nation that has rejected its constitution, only to arrive at its current pathetic state.

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