Gov. Larry Hogan asked the Obama administration Tuesday to halt any resettling of refugees from the Syrian civil war in Maryland until it is certain they pose no threat to public safety.
Hogan issued his statement one day after he declined to join more than 20 other Republican governors in taking steps to keep such refugees out of their states. He said Monday he would wait and make a "reasoned and careful" decision.
The governor's statement Tuesday, couched as a request rather than a demand, was more measured in tone than those of many of his GOP peers – some of whom vowed to block any resettlement of refugees in their states.
"As governor of Maryland, the safety and security of Marylanders remains my first priority," Hogan said. "Following the terrorist attacks on Paris just four days ago, and after careful consideration, I am now requesting that federal authorities cease any additional settlements of refugees from Syria in Maryland until the U.S. government can provide appropriate assurances that refugees from Syria pose no threat to public safety."
While governors can protest the settlement of refugees in their states, they have little power to block such action. The courts have held that immigration falls under the authority of the federal government, and U.S. law gives the president broad powers to admit refugees.