NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -
31 states, including Texas, said they will refuse Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter their states, but is this legal?
"States and specifically the state of Texas do not have the right to deny the entrance of Syrian refugees," said Nacogdoches immigration lawyer Amelia Ruiz Fischer.
According to Fischer, the matter was settled 100 years ago in the 1915 Supreme Court Case Truax v. Raich.
"Once an immigrant, including refugees, is admitted into the United States lawfully, then no state has the power or the authority to deny that person entrance," Fischer said.
After the deadly ISIS attack Paris last week, governors are worried the same thing could happen in their states. Members of the Muslim Student Association at Stephen F. Austin State University understand the concern, but don't agree that refusing refugees entrance into the U.S. is the answer.
"I understand where they're coming from because it endangers our safety, but from the other perspective, our nation's forefathers came to this country because of religious persecution," said Asad Choudry, a member of SFA MSA.
Choudry said he believes denying refugees would be win for ISIS, because they're goal is to violently separate their extremist view of Islam from Western Civilization.
"It would be a win for them because ultimately what they want to do is change our way of life," Choudry said.
According to Fischer, The Refugee Resettlement Program already in place has a rigorous and long process for refugees to be allowed into the U.S. The bill passed by the House of Representatives would require more extensive steps and background checks, something Choudry thinks could be safer for everyone.
"The background checks, it should be more thorough, so we can find out who's a danger to our people, because American does come first," Choudry said. " It's our safety and we have to take care of."