In Designated Survivor (2016 - present), President Tom Kirkman makes a deal with the governors to receive support from them in exchange for refusing a plane of refugees from Syria who instead are going to Canada. His wife Alex Kirkman is disappointed in him. Why is that so? Below is the transcript of the conversation (emphasis added):
So, I just got off the phone with Governor Baylin of Missouri. He says the plane can land in Jefferson City and that he will accept all of the refugees, even if Florida won't. What is it?
It's too late. The plane left 10 minutes ago for Toronto. The mother, the father, the baby can stay. Everybody else had to go.
Well, who says?
The governors. Me. I had to make a deal to keep the rest of the governors on board.
Wh... I thought we were on the same page.
We were. We... We are. Look, they threatened to withhold Congress over this. I had to give them something.
Tom, those people gave up everything to come here. This country made them a promise.
Alex, they're going to Canada, not back to Syria. They'll still be free. They'll still be safe.
Yeah, but they could be free and safe here. Governor Baylin is ready for them.
Well, unfortunately, he's not in the majority.
No, he was standing up for an American principle. Who are we without our principles?
Alex, it was an impossible choice. I know, and you had to make it and you will again, a-and the choices will always be impossible. That's not gonna change. But y-you will, and I will, and... this will. It used to be you and me against the world.
I have an obligation to the country. I took the job!
I'm not angry with the president. I am disappointed in my husband.
I'm not quite sure I understand on what's going. As Tom pointed out, it's not like the refugees are going back to Syria: they're going to Canada. I would understand Alex's disappointment if it was governors vs sending refugees back. Please explain the disappointment. Also, what principle?
The answer may involve some background with politics or the US of which I am unaware in which case please enlighten me (I actually don't know much of the background in Homeland (2011 - present)). Or it may be that there is no in-universe explanation (i.e. bad writing?) and that the aforementioned scene was just for drama (hence the tag).