The Louisiana state police have played down governor Bobby Jindal’s claim that he has ordered them to “track” Syrian refugees in his state.
Asked if it was true the state police would be tracking Syrian refugees in the state, Cain said: “No, no,” said Doug Cain, spokesman for the state police. “We are just keeping an open line of communication with federal authorities to make sure everyone is safely settled. We’re not going to be tracking people, following people, anything like that.”
In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday to announce the suspension of his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Jindal had said: “I issued an executive order telling my agencies to do everything we can. We don’t want these refugees in our state. I’ve ordered the state police to track the ones that are already in Louisiana.”
Jindal also claimed of the federal government: “They didn’t tell us when they sent these refugees to Louisiana ... We had no warning up front, ahead of time.”
The US government had contracted a state-level organization, the Catholic Charities of Louisiana to settle refugees there, Cain said, and the head of the state police, Col Mike Edmonson, had spoken with Archbishop of New Orleans Gregory Aymond.
“That’s it,” Cain said. “It’s really just a matter of communication. Governor Jindal’s executive order was that we use all lawful means to keep track of the refugees, and we won’t be going beyond the scope of the law.”
The executive order reads : “The Louisiana State Police, upon receiving information of a Syrian refugee already relocated within the State of Louisiana, are authorized and directed to utilize all lawful means to monitor and avert threats within the State of Louisiana.”
Jindal’s presidential campaign was hobbled by, among other things, his unpopularity in his home state. Residents there resented his frequent absences, as he pursued his political agenda in Washington.
“The state he was twice elected to lead has suffered greatly from Jindal’s national ambitions,” read an editorial this week in the Baton Rouge Advocate, “and history will show that his neglect of Louisiana figured into his poor showing in the presidential sweepstakes, too.”