Local Political Reaction on Syrian Refugees in Tennessee

Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – Many leaders caught off guard by the strength and coordination of ISIS after the Paris attacks are scrambling for a plan.

Some critics say ISIS was dangerously underestimated.

"It’s been in some ways almost superficial for a couple years now," said Senator Bob Corker who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "This is a wake up call. It’s tragic. Our hearts go out to the people in Paris and other people around the world that have been harmed. The Russian flight. What we saw happen in Lebanon and other places and so I think unfortunately this is a wake up call but fortunately one that I think will energize the world community against the evil."

With the Syrian refugee crisis growing and Obama allowing one hundred thousand more by 2017 into the U.S., over a dozen governors from Arizona to Georgia have announced they will not allow Syrian refugees into their states.

And Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced Monday he’s requesting the federal government suspend Syrians’ placement in Tennessee until quote states can become more of a partner in the vetting process.

"In Chattanooga we have a heightened sensitivity to the problem of Islamic terrorism," said Tennessee senator Bo Watson. "But with the events in Paris and the potential that the immigrants coming into the country, the refugees, may be a conduit for those who would wish harm against us, we just think it’s the proper and safe thing to do right now."

"Ensuring that anyone who comes here is one thousand percent vetted and is not someone who wishes our country harm obviously has to be of great, great focus," Corker said.

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