Breaking Down Refugee Numbers in Florida and Georgia

Posted at 5:59 PM, Nov 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-17 14:06:24-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Florida and Georgia are saying no to Syrian refugees.

This comes after a suspect in the Paris terror attacks allegedly entered France posing as a Syrian refugee.

More than half of the country's governors - including Florida's and Georgia's -- say they won't accept Syrian refugees in their states.

In 2015, 51 Syrians have resettled in Georgia, and 104 moving to Florida, but Georgia governor Nathan Deal says it's time to say no more.

"We have simply instructed all of our state agencies not to process any paperwork or anything relating to that," Deal said.

Monday, Florida governor Rick Scott wrote a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. He admits the state can't legally stop refugees from coming, but has urged Congress to take action -- keeping 425 Syrians from coming to the Sunshine State.

Ryan has also raised issue with the plan, calling for the country to stay alert.

"We think the prudent, the responsible thing 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," Ryan said.

In the 2015 federal fiscal year, more than 48,000 refugees arrived in Florida -- 50% more than 2014.

Most of them have settled in Miami-Dade County. In Leon Country, just 28 refugees arrived in 2015 -- none from Syria.

The bulk of refugees arriving in Florida have come from Cuba. In total, they've come from 57 countries in 2015.

Though many support the governors' position to keep Syrians from moving to their states, the local Muslim community says it's unfair to punish the refugees for the actions of an impostor.

"Tens of thousands of people are in need," said Amro Abdalla, head imam of the Islamic Center of Tallahasseee. "Forget about that they're Muslims or not. They're humans, and there is something called human rights."