The ACLU of Louisiana joins all those around the world who have expressed their grief, outrage, and condolences in the wake of the recent attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad. We are further dismayed by Governor Bobby Jindal’s unlawful and unenforceable attempt to bar refugees fleeing that same violence from resettling in Louisiana.
Gov. Jindal’s executive order is simply wrong in all particulars. It incorrectly blames the victims of terrorist violence for their own plight, and falsely suggests that welcoming Syrian refugees would put the people of Louisiana at risk. The order also violates United States law, the Louisiana Constitution, as well as the values on which our country was founded: it is unconstitutional to bar an entire group of people entry to Louisiana based on their race, religion, or nationality.
The governor has overreached his office in this matter, as he done so many times before. The Governor of Louisiana simply lacks the legal authority to create or deny affirmative rights. Another of Gov. Jindal’s unlawful executive orders, the “Marriage and Conscience Order,” is currently the subject of an active ACLU of Louisiana lawsuit, and he has been successfully sued over other such orders in the past. This is yet another example of Gov. Jindal attempting to put his personal prejudices before the law.
We urge the governor to rescind his order, and to affirm the need to act both lawfully and with compassion during this time of crisis.