Fox host Bret Baier allowed Governor Robert Bentley (R-AL) to falsely assert that he has “total control” of the decision to refuse Syrian refugees entry into his state, ignoring that both federal law and Supreme Court rulings reserved “the power to admit refugees” entirely to the federal government. Media outlets have roundly noted that refugee resettlement policy “belongs to the federal government exclusively” and that governors “have no legal authority” to block refugees from entering their state. Gov. Bentley has been widely criticized for his opposition to allowing entry to Syrian Muslim refugees. From the November 18 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
BRET BAIER (HOST): There is a question, governor, whether you have a right on that issue against the federal government and the administration when it comes to refugees.
GOV. ROBERT BENTLEY: It's very much like a natural disaster. When you have a natural disaster, the governor is in total control of everything. The federal government cannot come in unless I ask him in. This is similar. We consider this a threat. And we consider it a situation where I am in control. The governor has to be in control.
CNN's Chris Cuomo took Bentley to task during a November 17 interview where he explained that refugee immigration is “obviously” federally controlled.