united states syrian refugees reaction dnt bash_00000908.jpg
united states syrian refugees reaction dnt bash_00000908.jpg
Now playing
02:37
Which states will welcome Syrian refugees?
The Belgian Interior Ministry's Crisis Center has released two new stills of the Paris attack suspect, Salah Abdeslam, who is still at large and is the subject of an international arrest warrant.
PHOTO: Belgian Interior Ministry
The Belgian Interior Ministry's Crisis Center has released two new stills of the Paris attack suspect, Salah Abdeslam, who is still at large and is the subject of an international arrest warrant.
Now playing
02:46
Surviving Paris terrorist was planning new attacks
jihad 101 elbagir pkg_00023903.jpg
jihad 101 elbagir pkg_00023903.jpg
Now playing
03:49
Jihadi 101: The books at the core of ISIS recruitment
paris plotter traced lklv elbagir _00033015.jpg
paris plotter traced lklv elbagir _00033015.jpg
Now playing
04:15
New details on how Paris plotter was traced
brussels belgium new suspect paris attack nima elbagir live_00004827.jpg
brussels belgium new suspect paris attack nima elbagir live_00004827.jpg
Now playing
02:07
Belgian police name new suspect in Paris attacks
TOPSHOT - A doll crying is seen among flowers at a makeshift memorial in tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks, on January 4, 2016, outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, ahead of the one year anniversary of the jihadist attack on French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
Eight Charlie Hebdo staff were among the victims of the January 7, 2015 assault which brought millions of people onto France's streets in protest and transformed a fading publication into a global symbol of freedom of expression. / AFP / JOEL SAGET        (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: JOEL SAGET/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - A doll crying is seen among flowers at a makeshift memorial in tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks, on January 4, 2016, outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, ahead of the one year anniversary of the jihadist attack on French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Eight Charlie Hebdo staff were among the victims of the January 7, 2015 assault which brought millions of people onto France's streets in protest and transformed a fading publication into a global symbol of freedom of expression. / AFP / JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
04:17
A look back at France's year of terror
A policeman stands guard in Molenbeek, Brussels, on March 19, 2016, after Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam was arrested.
PHOTO: NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
A policeman stands guard in Molenbeek, Brussels, on March 19, 2016, after Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam was arrested.
Now playing
01:25
Captured Paris attacker planned to 'restart something'
Belgian police forces stand guard in a street during a police action in the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean district in Brussels, on March 18, 2016. 
Belgian police arrested five people in counter-terror raids in Brussels on March 18, including Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam and the family who sheltered him, prosecutors said. Special federal police forces arrested Abdeslam, who has been on the run since the deadly November 13 attacks, wounding him lightly in the leg during an afternoon raid in the capital's gritty immigrant neighbourhood of Molenbeek. / AFP / BELGA / NICOLAS MAETERLINCK        (Photo credit should read NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Belgian police forces stand guard in a street during a police action in the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean district in Brussels, on March 18, 2016. Belgian police arrested five people in counter-terror raids in Brussels on March 18, including Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam and the family who sheltered him, prosecutors said. Special federal police forces arrested Abdeslam, who has been on the run since the deadly November 13 attacks, wounding him lightly in the leg during an afternoon raid in the capital's gritty immigrant neighbourhood of Molenbeek. / AFP / BELGA / NICOLAS MAETERLINCK (Photo credit should read NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:48
What led up to the capture of Salah Abdeslam
Undated picture obtained by AFP on December 29, 2015 shows Frenchman Charaffe al Mouadan.
Charaffe al Mouadan, an Islamic State group leader with "direct" links to the alleged ringleader of the Paris attacks was killed in an air strike in Syria as he was plotting additional attacks, the Pentagon said on December 29, 2015. / AFP / - / --/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images
Undated picture obtained by AFP on December 29, 2015 shows Frenchman Charaffe al Mouadan. Charaffe al Mouadan, an Islamic State group leader with "direct" links to the alleged ringleader of the Paris attacks was killed in an air strike in Syria as he was plotting additional attacks, the Pentagon said on December 29, 2015. / AFP / - / --/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:25
ISIS operative connected to Paris terror attacks killed
Security forces stand guard at the entrance of the United Nations headquarter in Geneva on December 10, 2015 after Swiss police declared actively searching the city for suspects who may be linked to last month's attacks in Paris. / AFP / Richard Juilliart        (Photo credit should read RICHARD JUILLIART/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: RICHARD JUILLIART/AFP/Getty Images
Security forces stand guard at the entrance of the United Nations headquarter in Geneva on December 10, 2015 after Swiss police declared actively searching the city for suspects who may be linked to last month's attacks in Paris. / AFP / Richard Juilliart (Photo credit should read RICHARD JUILLIART/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:25
Manhunt for suspects linked to Paris attacker
Now playing
03:05
New Paris terror attacker identified
paris eagles of death metal u2 concert orig jnd pkg_00000522.jpg
PHOTO: Samatha Barry/CNN
paris eagles of death metal u2 concert orig jnd pkg_00000522.jpg
Now playing
00:47
Eagles of Death Metal take stage with U2 in Paris
cafe in paris terror attack reopens vosot_00002410.jpg
PHOTO: BFM
cafe in paris terror attack reopens vosot_00002410.jpg
Now playing
01:00
Cafe in Paris terror attack reopens
trail of fugitive paris attacker gone cold liveshot cruickshank tsr_00003006.jpg
PHOTO: Belgian Interior Ministry
trail of fugitive paris attacker gone cold liveshot cruickshank tsr_00003006.jpg
Now playing
01:08
Official: Trail of fugitive Paris attacker gone cold
france terror targets pleitgen pkg_00005419.jpg
france terror targets pleitgen pkg_00005419.jpg
Now playing
02:16
Jews fearful of another terrorist attack in Paris
PHOTO: CNN/Pool
Now playing
00:52
Obama, Hollande pledge solidarity to fight ISIS
suicide vest left in suburban paris trash can cruickshank intv wrn_00011130.jpg
PHOTO: BFMTV
suicide vest left in suburban paris trash can cruickshank intv wrn_00011130.jpg
Now playing
02:09
Possible suicide vest found near Paris
manhunt paris attacks suspect salah abdeslam savidge dnt lead_00002125.jpg
PHOTO: Reuters
manhunt paris attacks suspect salah abdeslam savidge dnt lead_00002125.jpg
Now playing
02:24
Manhunt for Paris attack suspect intensifies
ISIS voice of death Fabian Clain Todd dnt tsr_00005311.jpg
ISIS voice of death Fabian Clain Todd dnt tsr_00005311.jpg
Now playing
02:14
Police hunt ISIS 'Voice of death'
paris poignant moments natpkg_00012911.jpg
PHOTO: Reuters
paris poignant moments natpkg_00012911.jpg
Now playing
02:15
Messages of solidarity for a grieving France
The Belgian Interior Ministry's Crisis Center has released two new stills of the Paris attack suspect, Salah Abdeslam, who is still at large and is the subject of an international arrest warrant.
PHOTO: Belgian Interior Ministry
The Belgian Interior Ministry's Crisis Center has released two new stills of the Paris attack suspect, Salah Abdeslam, who is still at large and is the subject of an international arrest warrant.
Now playing
01:51
Belgium: Abdeslam still on the loose after recent raids
barack obama kuala lumpur isis _00005725.jpg
PHOTO: CNN
barack obama kuala lumpur isis _00005725.jpg
Now playing
03:08
Obama: We 'will not relent' in fight against ISIS
dad who explained attacks son paris memorial intv ac _00011426.jpg
dad who explained attacks son paris memorial intv ac _00011426.jpg
Now playing
03:16
A father explains Paris tragedy to his son
paris attacks doctor viral photo harlow pkg_00000000.jpg
PHOTO: Hôpital Saint-Louis - © Pourya Pashootan / AP-HP
paris attacks doctor viral photo harlow pkg_00000000.jpg
Now playing
02:09
Doctor's photo of Paris attack aftermath goes viral
paris deputy mayor patrick klugman sot erin_00002628.jpg
paris deputy mayor patrick klugman sot erin_00002628.jpg
Now playing
01:52
Deputy Mayor of Paris: 'We have to be ready for anything'
This undated image taken from a Militant Website on Monday, Nov.16, 2015, shows Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud. A senior police official said on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, that he believed the Belgian Islamic State militant was inside an apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis with other heavily armed people. A French official said Monday that Abdelhamid Abaaoud is the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks was also linked to thwarted train and church attacks. (Militant video via AP)
PHOTO: Eric Marrapodi/CNN
This undated image taken from a Militant Website on Monday, Nov.16, 2015, shows Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud. A senior police official said on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, that he believed the Belgian Islamic State militant was inside an apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis with other heavily armed people. A French official said Monday that Abdelhamid Abaaoud is the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks was also linked to thwarted train and church attacks. (Militant video via AP)
Now playing
02:26
Attorney: Father said Abaaoud 'became a devil'
isis video threatens new york sciutto tsr live_00004229.jpg
PHOTO: ISIS
isis video threatens new york sciutto tsr live_00004229.jpg
Now playing
01:31
ISIS video makes threat against New York
A body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG        (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
A body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:39
Witnesses describe the St. Denis raid
paris attacks mother of satan suicide vest explosive bomb tatp carroll dnt erin_00010501.jpg
paris attacks mother of satan suicide vest explosive bomb tatp carroll dnt erin_00010501.jpg
Now playing
02:44
'Mother of Satan' suicide vests worn by Paris attackers
isis new video paris attack washington npw _00002224.jpg
PHOTO: ISIS
isis new video paris attack washington npw _00002224.jpg
Now playing
02:16
Is assault on Paris a new strategy for ISIS?
Heavily armed New York city police officers with the Strategic Response Group stand guard at the armed forces recruiting center in New York's Times Square, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015.  Police in New York say they've deployed extra units to crowded areas of the city "out of an abundance of caution" in the wake of the attacks in Paris, France. A New York Police Department statement released Friday stressed police have "no indication that the attack has any nexus to New York City." (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
PHOTO: Mary Altaffer/AP
Heavily armed New York city police officers with the Strategic Response Group stand guard at the armed forces recruiting center in New York's Times Square, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Police in New York say they've deployed extra units to crowded areas of the city "out of an abundance of caution" in the wake of the attacks in Paris, France. A New York Police Department statement released Friday stressed police have "no indication that the attack has any nexus to New York City." (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Now playing
01:36
U.S. cities ramp up security following Paris attacks

Story highlights

Republican presidential contenders pushed for an end to U.S. resettlement of Syrian refugees

The rhetoric on the right has clearly angered Obama, who said Monday that the U.S. must remain committed to its values of tolerance and accepting immigrants

(CNN) —  

Republicans are putting President Barack Obama and his party on the defensive over accepting Syrian refugees, following reports that one of the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks entered Europe as part of the wave of Syrians fleeing civil war.

GOP governors and lawmakers were quick to announce they wouldn’t allow Syrian refugees into their states and are appealing for stronger control of U.S. borders. The issue opens up a firm political line of attack for Republican presidential candidates who had been struggling to find their footing on the national security challenges posed by the Paris slaughter.

The rhetoric on the right clearly angered Obama, who argued at a press conference Monday that the United States must remain committed to its values of tolerance and accepting immigrants.

RELATED: Obama slams GOP for idea of religious test for refugees

“The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism,” Obama said in Antalya, Turkey, at a meeting of the G20. “It is very important … that we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.”

Republicans, however, are stressing the security concerns posed by the potential influx of people from the war-torn country. They have called on congressional leaders to block the Obama administration from proceeding with plans to resettle thousands of refugees, with some asking House Speaker Paul Ryan to lead the effort.

RELATED: Trump: ‘Strongly consider’ shutting mosques

In a letter to Ryan, Ben Carson – the retired neurosurgeon and a Republican front-runner – called for Congress to block funding for any programs “that seek to resettle refugees and/or migrants from Syria into the United States, effective immediately.”

“Until we can sort out the bad guys we must not be foolish,” Carson said in a news conference in Nevada.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee similarly heaped pressure on Ryan, saying in a statement: “Speaker Ryan needs to make it clear that if the President won’t stand to protect America from wholesale open borders, then Republicans will.”

“If Ryan will not lead and reject the importation of those fleeing the Middle East without assurances that we can separate refugees from terrorists, then Speaker Ryan needs to step down today and let someone else lead,” Huckabee said.

In addition, Govs. John Kasich and Bobby Jindal of Ohio and Louisiana, respectively, said they would work to keep refugees out of their states.

And Sen. Rand Paul, another 2016 contender, introduced legislation that would block the United States from issuing visas to refugees from countries with a high risk of terrorism in an effort to “stop terrorists from walking in our front door.”

Paul Ryan’s strategy on Syrian refugees

Ryan said Monday he has asked the Obama administration to provide a classified briefing for all House members on the situation in Paris. On Tuesday FBI Director James Comey and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson will deliver a classified briefing to lawmakers, at 5:30 p.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium. Senators will be briefed on Wednesday.

An aide to the GOP leader said it’s not clear when that will take place but it doesn’t appear it will be Monday.

In a radio interview with Bill Bennett, Ryan also said he has tasked all committees of jurisdiction to come up with recommendations about how to ensure the thousands of Syrian refugees the President wants to settle in the United States won’t be involved in terrorism. Ryan said he was particularly concerned since at least one of the attackers in Paris is believed to have been part of the waves of refugees into Europe from Syria.

“Look, we’ve always been a generous nation taking in refugees. But this is a unique situation. This is a situation where you have single men coming over, which is not women and children,” Ryan said.

RELATED: Obama says ground troops to fight ISIS would be a mistake

Ryan said House leaders are considering adding language opposing the refugees to the large government funding bill that must pass by December 11.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re protecting ourselves,” Ryan said. “So that’s what we’re looking at: What is the best option? Not just so we have an issue to talk about, but so we have a result, which is to make sure we are not complicit or even facilitating of having someone come in who would seek to do us harm from Syria.”

Senate GOP leaders are also looking at the question, but no decisions have been made, according to one leadership aide. Classified briefings are also in the works for senators but have not been finalized.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz made a similar case in South Carolina, saying that “anyone with an ounce of common sense would say ‘no, we shouldn’t be bringing in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees.’”

“Instead,” Cruz said, “we should be resettling them humanely in Middle Eastern countries that are majority Muslim. We can help them deal with their refugee status, but the first obligation of the President needs to be as commander in chief to protect the safety of the United States of America.”

As he introduced his legislation, Paul said he wants enhanced screening measures for refugees.

“The Boston Marathon bombers were refugees, and numerous refugees from Iraq, including some living in my hometown, have attempted to commit terrorist attacks. The terrorist attacks in Paris underscore this concern that I have been working to address for the past several years,” he said.

Obama responds from Turkey

Obama pushed back against the Republican presidential field Monday and seemed to take particular exception to the sentiments of Cruz – though not by name.

“When I hear folks say that maybe we should just admit the Christians and not the Muslims (refugees), when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted – when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution – that’s shameful. That’s not American,” Obama said, whose plans currently call for 10,000 Syrians to be admitted over the coming year.

Both Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s parents fled Cuba, though only Cruz has mentioned a religious test. Rubio told ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” this weekend that the U.S. shouldn’t accept any refugees from Syria. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the United States should focus on assisting Christians in Syria.