Legislation seeking to put a temporary hold on efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States could go up for a vote in the U.S. House this week.
In the wake of Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, newly-elected House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) on Tuesday called for a "pause" on the U.S. program that looks to accept 10,000 new Syrian refugees. One of the suspected Paris attackers is believed to have slipped into Europe with Syrian refugees.
"Our nation has always been welcoming but we cannot let terrorists take advantage of our compassion," Ryan said Tuesday, reported the Associated Press. "This is a moment where it's better to be safe than to be sorry, so we think the prudent, the responsible, thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect of this refugee program in order to verify that terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population."
House leadership has convened a task force looking into legislation that would halt the Syrian refugee program, at least temporarily.
At the state-level, at least two dozen governors, including Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, have announced plans to temporarily bar Syrian refugees from resettling in their states.
On the House floor Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) spoke out against the mostly Republican governors who want to turn away Syrian refugees.
"This is despicable, and cowardly, and precisely the kind of reaction ISIS wanted. ISIS could not have written a better script. The free people of the world are turning their backs on people seeking safety and freedom," Gutierrez said. "When we sent Jews back to Germany, and when we sent Japanese to internment camps, we regretted it, and we will regret this as well."