Montgomery, Ala. —
Governor Robert Bentley was in Birmingham Monday for an international business summit. ABC3340 asked him about the refugee crisis in Syria and why he felt the state should not allow any of those fleeing the war to come to our state. "I truly have a heart for those refugees. They're fleeing ISIS. ISIS is our enemy. We do have a heart for them," said Governor Bentley. However, he said that compassion does not outweigh his responsibility to keep our state safe and secure.
Bentley said he's not convinced refugees are being property vetted to rule out ties to terrorism. "When you know some of the people from that region have the potential to be terrorists, we can't take a chance on that," remarked Bentley.
Also in Birmingham Monday, Condoleezza Rice said while the U.S. has always been open to those escaping tyranny and danger, we should not speed up the process of vetting and relocation that is in place now. "You have to as a part of your compassion also be safety conscious," said Rice.
Some legal experts question whether governors have the authority to ban the refugees from their states. "As the chief magistrate of the state I can do it and we are going to," said Bentley.
Governor Robert Bentley says he is refusing Syrian refugees relocating to Alabama.
"The acts of terror committed over the weekend are a tragic reminder to the world that evil exists and takes the form of terrorists who seek to destroy the basic freedoms we will always fight to preserve. I will not place Alabamians at even the slightest, possible risk of an attack on our people. Please continue to join me in praying for those who have suffered loss and for those who will never allow freedom to fade at the hands of terrorists," Governor Bentley added.
Neighboring states have processed a number of refugees but Alabama's refugee processing center in Mobile has not.
To date, there have not been any credible threats of terrorism to the state of Alabama.