November 17, 2015
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined a number of fellow Republican governors Tuesday by formally telling President Barack Obama his state would not be accepting any Syrian refugees following the deadly attacks in Paris, despite his legal authority to do so being unclear.
In a letter addressed to Obama, Christie wrote that his first obligation is to keep New Jersey residents safe, saying that the threat of ISIS is very real.
"I cannot allow New Jersey to participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees -- any of who could be connected with terrorism -- being placed in our state," the letter reads.
He continued by saying that he was directing the New Jersey Department of Human Services not to cooperate with any organizations working to resettle refugees in the state.
Christie also urged Obama to nix his plans to accept 10,000 people fleeing the war-torn country in the coming year.
The letter cites a New Jersey man who pleaded guilty in September to conspiring to provide information and resources to ISIS.
Like other GOP politicians, Christie has stated that the United States doesn't have the ability to properly vet those coming into the country from Syria.
Although more than half of the nation's governors have done the same as Christie in saying they would not accept refugees, states do not legally have the authority to deny migrants' entry as resettlement is a federally funded program.
On Monday, a radio show host Hugh Hewitt asked Christie whether he would accept orphan refugees younger than 5.
Christie responded, “You know Hugh, we could come up with 18 different scenarios. The fact is ... I don’t think orphans under 5 should be admitted into the United States at this point.”