A Deal spokeswoman said the governor is reviewing the opinion.
Olens' concerns come as little surprise. In an email obtained through a public records request earlier this month, Olens wrote to a Deal deputy that Georgia's response to the federal threat of a lawsuit over the policy "is not well supported in the law." Olens added that he's hopeful "every effort is made to resolve this matter without resort to litigation."
Deal's response was to request the formal opinion from the attorney general on the legality of the executive order, which polls show has broad support among Republican voters.
The tiff is a snapshot of Deal’s increasingly critical approach to the White House’s plan to accept about 10,000 Syrian refugees nationwide since the string of terror attacks in Paris.
He has vowed that the state will vigorously defend his stance in court and bristled at the White House's demand in November that Georgia rescind the order or risk violating federal law by denying food stamp benefits to new Syrian refugees.
A Syrian refugee father and mother living with their four-year-old son in the Atlanta area have been waiting for weeks for the state to process their applications for food stamps and Medicaid. They arrived in the state days after Deal issued his executive order.