Immigration Lawyers Say Walker Can't Refuse...

Posted at 6:27 PM, Nov 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-17 19:27:36-05

MADISON, WI---  The question over Syrian refugees leads to Governor Walker to ask the president to keep them out of the state. He's one of 30 governors to make the request. Immigration lawyers say Governors don't have that authority.

"They're not going to be able to set up roadblocks," says Attorney Kelsi Cottle.

However, Cottle says states do have some pull.

"They could attempt to cease working with the federal refugee resettlement program. And they can make it a little bit more difficult for refugees within their particular states," says Cottle.

Governor Walker says he's directed the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families to not participate in resettling Syrian refugees.

Right now state lawmakers are divided.

"Act as compassionate people, to give people a safe place," says Rep. Amanda Stuck of Appleton.

A bill was introduced by several democratic lawmakers hours before the Paris attacks, calling on Wisconsin to accept hundreds of Syrian refugees.

Speaker Robin Vos says he will not allow it issuing a statement saying "this is not the time to open our doors to Syrian refugees."

Only three Syrian refugees have relocated to Wisconsin since 2013.