U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., co-sponsored a bill that would allow governors to refuse to take in refugees, the senator's office said Wednesday.
Shelby is the co-sponsor of the State Refugee Security Act, which was authored by Ted Cruz, the Republican senator from Texas and a 2016 Republican presidential candidate.
Both Shelby and Cruz are against President Barack Obama's plan to bring in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. next year – a move that is also opposed by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. If the bill passes both Houses and withstands a likely presidential veto, Bentley would have the power to refuse refugees.
The refugee issue stirred controversy after last month's terror attacks in Paris amid concerns that ISIS could use the refugee process to infiltrate America.
"First and foremost, I absolutely oppose bringing Syrian refugees into this country and believe that we must immediately halt the President's reckless plans. We simply cannot trust this administration to put in place the rigorous vetting system needed to ensure that the refugees who enter our nation will not be future threats to the American people and our way of life," Shelby said in a statement. "This important, commonsense bill would ensure that our governors can opt out of accepting refugees should the Obama administration continue with its dangerous Syrian refugee resettlement program. If President Obama continues to ignore the real threat of radical Islamic terrorism in this nation, we must do all in our power to give local officials the tools they need to protect the citizens of their state."