McAuliffe remains in favor of keeping Virginia open to Syrian refugees

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Richmond, Va. - Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe remains in favor of keeping Virginia open to Syrian refugees.

A statement from Governor McAuliffe's office came Monday after several Virginia delegates urged him to refuse entry to Syrian refugees after Friday night's terrorist attacks in Paris.

"The Governor and his public safety team are in constant communication with federal authorities about all refugee resettlements, including those involving refugees from Syria. Every refugee who is settled in the U.S. undergoes intensive security screening," a statement from the governor's office read. "Nothing is more important to the Governor and his team than keeping Virginians safe."

According to WTVR, four Virginia delegates have called on McAuliffe to refuse Syrian refugee resettlements in Virginia, for a two year period, in wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

Virginia House of Delegates Majority Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R), Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R), Delegate Greg Habeeb (R), and Delegate Manoli Loupassi (R) said they planned to officially introduce the legislation in the 2016 General Assembly session.

"This legislation is being proposed in response to recent terrorist attacks in France, as we have seen radicals use the refugee crisis as a means to enter other countries," said Delegate Hugo. "Before we can allow further resettlement in Virginia, we must have full confidence in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its procedures. Virginia is a welcoming state, but our first priority is the safety of our citizens."

Over 20 U.S. governors, most of them Republicans, announced in the aftermath of the Paris attacks that their states would not accept any further refugees from Syria. But it’s unclear whether they have the legal authority to do this.

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