In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said leaders must find a balance between keeping Americans safe while not giving up our values of offering freedom to immigrants.
In a new video posted Tuesday by CNYCentral.com, Cuomo said he doesn't think governors have the authority to refuse Syrian refugees if federal leaders place them in states.
Governors in 31 states have said they do not want Syrian refugees after it became known that one of those responsible for the massacre in Paris blended in with other Syrian immigrants in France.
Cuomo said he believes the refugee issue is now becoming a political hot potato, and will eventually get wrapped into the debate over immigration from Mexico.
"The day America says 'close the gates, build the wall,' then I say take down the Statue of Liberty because you've gone to different place," Cuomo said.
Cuomo made his comments during a question and answer session with David Gergen, professor and co-director of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and also political analyst with CNN. Cuomo said the federal government should do exhaustive screening and that should assure Americans of the safety of taking in refugees.
"We have to protect Americans and not lose our soul as America in the process," Cuomo said.
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