Republican lawmakers take aim at Syrian refugee plan
The assault on Paris has sparked widespread calls from congressional Republicans to end or limit U.S. refugee admissions from Syria, with some threatening to use critical spending legislation as leverage just weeks from a must-pass deadline.
The issue looms as a sudden and unexpected challenge to new House Speaker Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, who faces a Dec. 11 deadline to pass a package of spending bills or risk a partial government shutdown. The legislation was already tricky because of the potential for policy fights on issues like Planned Parenthood and the environment, and now some conservatives want to include language requiring congressional approval of any refugee plan.
That could allow Republicans to block President Barack Obama's goal of bringing 10,000 more Syrian refugees to the U.S. during this budget year.
Several governors around the country are threatening to halt efforts to allow Syrian refugees into their states following the coordinated attacks in Paris, though immigration experts say under the Refugee Act of 1980 governors cannot legally block refugees from settling in their communities.
In New York, a Republican member of New York's Congressional delegation and a Republican state assemblyman are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to prevent Syrian refugees from being placed in the state.
U.S. Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY 27th District) and Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R-Assembly District 124) cited the threat of terrorism Monday when they called on Cuomo to reject additional refugees from the war-torn Middle Eastern nation.
A spokesman for Cuomo, a Democrat, declined to comment on the request.
Some 48 Syrian refugees have settled in New York so far this year, according to a federal database.