Governor Bobby Jindal issues executive order to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Louisiana

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Syrian refugees walk with their belongings to cross back to the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad from Turkey. (Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images)

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order Monday to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state of Louisiana.

Jindal is not the first or only governor to attempt to prevent Syrian refugees from entering their state. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas have all issued similar executive orders.

Both Louisiana gubernatorial candidates Republican Sen. David Vitter and Democratic State Rep. John Bel Edwards called for the state to stop accepting Syrian refugees in the wake of ISIS’ deadly attacks in Paris.

Vitter and Edwards are fighting to succeed Bobby Jindal as Louisiana governor in a run-off election Nov. 21.

Read Jindal’s executive order below:

WHEREAS, Article I, Section 1 of the Louisiana Constitution is titled “Origin and Purpose of Government”, and provides

“All government, of right, originates with the people, is founded on their will alone, and is instituted to protect the rights of the individual and for the good of the whole. Its only legitimate ends are to secure justice for all, preserve peace, protect the rights, and promote the happiness and general welfare of the people. The rights enumerated in this Article are inalienable by the state and shall be preserved inviolate by the state.”

WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 5 the Louisiana Constitution establishes the governor as the chief executive officer of the State and during times of emergency or the threat of emergency, the governor has emergency powers to protect the citizens and property of the State of Louisiana;

WHEREAS, when the threat of an emergency is foreseeable, it is prudent to implement common sense, precautionary measures to prevent the occurrence of the emergency and eliminate the need to trigger emergency legal authorities;

WHEREAS, on Friday night, November 13, 2015, more than 120 people were killed and over 350 others wounded in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris, France;

WHEREAS, these attacks were conducted by Islamic extremists, at least one of them a recent Syrian refugee, and the radical terrorist Islamic State (ISIS) soon claimed responsibility;

WHEREAS, the State of Louisiana has been denied critical information by the federal government regarding Syrian refugees already relocated into this state, creating an untenable situation;

WHEREAS, it is foreseeable that the introduction of Syrian refugees into the United States without proper prior screening and follow-up monitoring could result in a threat to the citizens and property of this State.

NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: All departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana are authorized and directed to utilize all lawful means to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the State of Louisiana while this Order is in effect.

SECTION 2: The Louisiana State Police, upon receiving information of a Syrian refugee already relocated within the State of Louisiana, are authorized and directed to utilize all lawful means to monitor and avert threats within the State of Louisiana.

SECTION 3: All departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana are authorized and directed to cooperate in the implementation of the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 4: The Order is effective November 16, 2015 and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 16th day of November, 2015.

Bobby Jindal _____
GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA

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