Syracuse University Law Professor Says Governors Lack Legal Right to Deny Entry to Syrian Refugees
Syracuse University Professor William Banks, who serves as director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, offers his thoughts on news that more than half of U.S. governors oppose allowing Syrian refugees into their states.
“The governors lack the legal authority to interfere with refugee resettlement. If the U.S. government decides to admit a refugee, any state’s refusal to admit them violates the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. The issue has been settled by the Supreme Court for more than 100 years. Further, the Constitution clearly vests control over immigration and borders in the federal government, not the states. Finally, U.S. law and executive branch policy and practice contain robust screening procedures that affirmatively enable federal officials to deny entry to the U.S. to any person for reasons of national security.”
Professor Banks, who also serves as the interim dean at Syracuse University’s College of Law, is an internationally recognized authority in national security, counterterrorism, international humanitarian and constitutional law. He has co-authored the textbook “National Security Law and Counterterrorism Law” along with “Counterinsurgency Law: New Directions in Asymmetric Warfare” and “New Battlefields/Old Laws: Critical Debates on Asymmetric Warfare.”
Professor Banks is available for media interviews regarding the Syrian refugee issue or any other issue involving terrorism at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-443-3678.