MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski on Tuesday blasted the growing number of U.S. governors pledging not to allow Syrian refugees into their states, saying on "Morning Joe" that the leaders are “tapping into hatred.”
A Syrian passport was found near the body of a suicide bomber who was part of the coordinated terrorist attacks on Paris on Friday, and authorities said the document was used by someone to enter Europe as a refugee. It's not clear whether the passport is real or actually belonged to the attacker.
In response to the passport news, Republican governors in many states said they would not allow Syrian refugees to settle there. The Obama administration plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. this fiscal year.
"It’s just not who we are," Brzezinski said of the governors' response, noting that the leaders don't even have the legal authority to undercut decisions about asylum and refugees made by the federal government, which the Constitution grants exclusive power to regulate citizenship.
“There is no legal authority to it, number one,” she said. "It’s 10,000 Syrian families -- women and children."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is running for the GOP nomination, went so far as to say that even orphans shouldn’t be allowed into the country. “The fact is that we need for appropriate vetting, and I don’t think orphans under 5 are being, you now, should be admitted into the United States at this point,” he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday.
Co-host Joe Scarborough chimed in on the issue, arguing that President Barack Obama is the only one who has the “ability to help us win a war against ISIS.”
“Which is why [the governors] should shut up,” Brzezinski said.
The American Civil Liberties Union has also weighed in on the matter, blasting politicians for making policy decisions based on "fear mongering."
"Some politicians have attempted to fabricate a link between the tragedy in Paris and the resettlement of Syrian refugees to the United States,” said Cecilia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “It is factually wrong for blaming refugees for the very terror they are fleeing, and it is legally wrong because it violates our laws and the values on which our country was founded."
According to The New York Times, only 1,854 Syrian refugees have been accepted into the U.S as of September this year, a stark contrast to the 93,000 Germany has accepted.
Watch the clip from "Morning Joe" above.