Officials react to executive order to prevent more Syrian refuge - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Officials react to executive order to prevent more Syrian refugees from entering La.

Col. Mike Edmonson and Director of GOHSEP Kevin Davis (Source: WAFB) Col. Mike Edmonson and Director of GOHSEP Kevin Davis (Source: WAFB)

Gov. Jindal's executive order asking all state departments to block any federal efforts to relocate Syrian refugees to Louisiana was met with both support and opposition Monday. 

Both gubernatorial candidates say they support the move. 

"Of course, it's a security threat," U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-LA, said in a telephone interview. "Look what happened in Paris. I'm sure the French thought they had adequate security measures too, they didn't. They don't and we don't." 

State Rep. John Bel Edwards. D-Amite, also commented Monday, saying in a press release, "Louisiana should hault [sic] completely the entry of refugees from Syria." 

The executive order gives Louisiana State Police the authority to monitor any of the dozen or so Syrian refugees already in the state. 

Col. Mike Edmonson said his department has no names and addresses, but he said there is no current threat to the public. 

He said the move is appropriate because of a lack of intelligence being shared between the state and officials in Washington. 

"Here's the deal, you have a lot of questions. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of answers," said Col. Edmonson speaking at a press conference at the State Capitol. 

The Catholic Charities, the agency that works with migrants in Baton Rouge, opposes the executive order. 

"I think it's a shame," said Executive Director David Aguillard. 

Aguillard reiterates what the Catholic Charities said two weeks ago that migrants coming through their offices from anywhere in the world are no threat to homeland security. 

"The federal officials are looking at the vetting process for Syrians, and they'll take the lessons learned from Paris and apply those here," said Aguillard. 

The Catholic Charities said no Syrians have been settled into Louisiana in the past month and none were scheduled to come to Baton Rouge through the beginning of the spring.

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