Texas and Arkansas on Monday joined two other US states that have said they will no longer accept Syrian refugees, contending that allowing in people from that war-torn country was too dangerous following Friday's deadly Paris attack.
Republican Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, following the lead of Alabama and Michigan, said their states would no longer help support the Obama administration's goal of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming years.
"Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees - any one of whom could be connected to terrorism - being resettled in Texas," Abbott said in an open letter to US President Barack Obama on Monday. "Neither you nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity."
The decisions to stop accepting refugees from Syria came three days after gunmen and suicide bombers believed to be part of the Islamic State militant group killed 129 people in a series of coordinated attacks in Paris, the worst such event in France since World War Two.
A Syrian passport found near the body of one of the attackers showed that its holder passed through Greece in October, raising concern that the attackers had entered Europe amid the wave of refugees fleeing that country's four-year civil war.
The United States admitted 1,682 Syrian refugees in the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, a sharp jump from the 105 admitted a year earlier. Texas, California and Michigan accepted the largest number of people fleeing the war.
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