As reports over the weekend indicate that 14 Syrian refugees have arrived in Louisiana, State Representative John Bel Edwards maintained communication with law enforcement officials across the state. Over the course of the weekend, he spoke, on numerous occasions, with Col. Mike Edmonson, Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, and Mike Ranatza, of the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, regarding the current status of refugees in the State of Louisiana.
“News reports indicate that more than a dozen refugees have made their way to Louisiana,” said Rep. Edwards. “While we understand the need to provide a safe haven from those facing persecution, we cannot do it at the expense of the safety of our people here in Louisiana. This isn’t political. We have an obligation to put aside the partisan rhetoric and work together to keep our people safe.”
On Saturday, Rep. Edwards issued a statement calling on the Obama Administration to hault placing Syrian refugees in the State of Louisiana pending answers to questions from the Jindal Administration regarding the security measures in place. To our knowledge, those questions have yet to be answered. Weekend reports indicate that one of the Paris attackers used a potentially fake Syrian passport.
Rep. Edwards statement from the weekend was as follows:
"As an Army Officer, I took an oath to preserve and protect the people of this country. As Louisiana’s next Governor, my top priority will be to ensure the safety of our people. That’s why the LA Sheriff’s Association and the LA State Troopers Association are supporting our efforts.
"In light of the recent tragedy in Paris, it’s imperative for us to pause the influx of refugees flowing into our state without more information on the security measures in place. Gov. Jindal has requested additional information from the President on how the federal government is handling the refugees being sent to Louisiana, and I think the President has an obligation to provide answers before we move any further.”