clock menu more-arrow no yes

Most Syrian refugees live in states where governors want to bar them

In the aftermath of the deadly November 13 Paris terrorist attacks, 26 governors have announced they will bar Syrian refugees. Many of those governors, however, have Syrian refugees living within their borders already.

The United States has offered refugee status to 1,869 Syrian immigrants in 2015. Of those refugees, 1,651 live in the states where governors currently say they will no longer allow Syrian refugees to enter.

The United States has admitted relatively few Syrian refugees compared with other countries. The level of resettlement varies a lot across the country: Nine states have resettled fewer than 10 Syrians, and 19 states have resettled zero. States that have welcomed the largest number of Syrian refugees include California at 218, Michigan at 198, and Texas at 194. While Gov. Jerry Brown of California has said California's doors will remain open to Syrian refugees, the governors of both Michigan and Texas have stated that they will halt accepting refugees until the federal government completes a full review of security clearances and procedures.

The US continues to be outpaced globally when it comes to resettling Syrian refugees by countries like Turkey and Lebanon, and has dramatically decreased the number of refugees it welcomes overall during the past 40 years. However, the US approving 1,869 Syrian refugees for resettlement in 2015 is still almost a tenfold increase from 2014 totals, when only 249 Syrian refugees were accepted.

Correction: This article originally mis-stated Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's actions related to Syrian refugees. He has not issued an executive order relating to the subject, but did publish a statement saying his state would "pause" on accepting refugees until security screenings were strengthened.