Covering the news that the House had voted to bar refugees from the two war-torn countries as the US tightens its border security, Elise Labott, tweeted : "Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish."
The Global Affairs Correspondent's tweet has been 'liked' more than 4,000 times and retweeted 2,500 times.
A few hours later she apologised for her comments, saying they were "inappropriate and disrespectful".
While many people criticised Labott's comment, saying it showed bias:
Others felt that she made a valid point and should not have to apologise:
Labott's comments came after the Republican-controlled House voted 289-137 against President Barack Obama's plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the US next year.
Whether or not refugees should be allowed to enter the US has been a key topic in the presidential nomination race, particularly since last Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, which saw the deaths of at least 129 people.
The frontrunner in the Republican contest, Donald Trump, has described letting Syrian refugees into the country as allowing a "Trojan horse" in, adding: "We cannot let them into this country, period."
Ben Carson, Trump's closest rival in the presidential leadership race, has compared refugees of the Syrian conflict to "rabid dogs".
Speaking in Alabama, the former neurosurgeon, said: "If there’s a rabid dog running around the neighbourhood, probably not going to assume something good about that dog and you’re going to want to put your children away."
Carson was responding to a question on whether Christian organisations should be assisting refugees.
Earlier this week, candidate Jeb Bush floated the idea there should be a religious test for those wishing to come the US. Christians rather than Muslims would be granted access under the Texan's plan.
In contrast, Hillary Clinton, who is the favourite to secure the Democrat vote, is taking a completely different approach, calling for an increase in the number of Syrians allowed to enter the US in 2016 to 65,000.
Many Republican State Governors have said that Syrians would not be welcome in their districts.
There is clear opposition to the President's plans, even from within his own party, with 47 Democrats going against Obama's administration during the vote on Thursday.
But Obama maintains that Syrian refugees present no more a threat to the US than tourists.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the President accused Republican presidential candidates of promoting fears about refugees in order to gain a political advantage.