I’m an Acadian Frenchman, or at least I fancy myself one. I draw my lineage from France, by way of Frenchmen exiled from Nova Scotia, Canada, by the English in 1755, during what has been named the Grand Derangement. My ancestors ended up in southern Louisiana in what is today referred to as the French Triangle.

Though I grew up in Oklahoma, I have always considered Louisiana the home state of my ancestors in America. Imagine my interest at the notion that Syrian refugees had already been landing in New Orleans for over a week now. How could Governor Bobby Jindal have allowed that, pray tell?

Now, the last time I was in New Orleans, though excited to be reunited with my Americanized French culture, the most French legacy I found there were the Vietnamese waiters in Cafe Du Monde. I waded through the French Quarter, through the drunken “lassez les bon temps rouler”-yelling tourists as they threw dollars at the feet of local tap-dancing kids and older man bands playing “As The Saints Go Marching In.” As for hearing the mother tongue, the only French I heard was from me, asking myself, “Qui dans l’enfer moi j’fais icitt?” (What the hell am I doing here?)


Let’s face it, if you want the Cajun experience and you’re in New Orleans, you’re on the wrong side of the Mississippi River. And N’owlins, folks, is a liberal and diverse city. Far be it for me to stand in the way if it wants to suck start a Glock by infusing Syrians into the quartiers. It’s as good a place as any to sneak in Syrian refugees, right?

But wait, did I say “sneak” them in? Indeed I did. In fact, to date, 14 Syrian refugees have been settled in southeast Louisiana by the State Department bypassing Governor Jindal’s office, working instead directly with the state’s Catholic Charities of Louisiana Archdiocese of New Orleans’ Refugee Resettlement Services using federal referrals for refugee placement.

Bobby Jindal is one of five state governors now who have made formal disclosures that their states will not accept refugees with possible links to the Islamic State. In Jindal’s case, he’s made this stand with special consideration of the investigation still underway of the ISIS-orchestrated mass murder in Paris. According to the governor,

“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. They didn’t tell us when they sent these refugees to Louisiana. We had no warning up front, ahead of time.”