The attacks in Paris left 129 dead, 352 injured and the world’s eyes on ISIS. It was recently discovered that ISIS operates a 24-hour Jihadi Help Desk to further its missions of destruction. The Help Desk serves as a recruitment database and focus for future attacks. These events and others influence U.S. public opinion back home and incite policymakers to take a stronger stance on protecting U.S. borders. Although the attacks were not on American soil, they had far-reaching effects on U.S. policy-making.
This protective stance has gone so far as to push many U.S. governors to refuse the settlement of Syrian refugees in their states. This announcement is undoubtedly influenced by reports that at least one of the Paris terrorists immigrated through Europe’s immigration system and may call for a reformation of the U.S. immigration screening process. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder stated that he wishes to put his request for more refugees on hold until the Department of Homeland Security analyzed its screening process. The state of Michigan has a large Arab-American population, which the governor referred to in his statement, “the attacks are the efforts of extremists and do not reflect the peaceful ways of people of Middle Eastern descent here and around the world.” More state governors are being pressured by their constituents to take a stance on the growing influx of refugees.
Calming this rift in policy regarding refugees will prove difficult for Obama, as he is finishing out his term. White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes reported to Fox News that the president will uphold his promise to let 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country within the year, despite the events in Paris on November 13th. Governor Rick Scott of Florida also questioned the constitutionality of a governor blocking refugees from entering a state. Scott further asked Congress to thwart President Obama’s wishes of using tax dollars to fund refugee relocations without a thorough evaluation. The events in Paris undoubtedly pushed the public to question all presidential candidates on their refugee policy. If the threat of ISIS continues to spread to more Western nations, this may lead to a greater push towards closing doors to refugees.