Opinion Pieces

Europe's failed 'open door' policies must not be repeated in America

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Washington, May 19, 2016 | comments

Europe's failed 'open door' policies must not be repeated in America
Rep. Brian Babin | May 19, 2016
Washington Examiner
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There is a real and imminent threat that the United States faces from jihadists infiltrating the refugee program and exploiting the gaps in our immigration policies.

The terrorist attacks in Brussels (Belgium), Paris (France), and San Bernardino (Calif.) — as well as the foiled plot earlier this year by a Houston-area refugee — clearly demonstrate what is at stake. And the United States must look no further than Europe to see the dangerous path we are on.

For the past several decades, Islamic jihadists have capitalized on the generous "open door" immigration and refugee polices of European leaders, which has created a major recruiting ground for thousands of jihadi terrorists and a place from within Europe's borders to advance its terror and radical agenda.

Unfortunately, rather than recognizing such danger and exercising caution, President Obama is using his remaining months in office to expedite the admission of tens of thousands of Middle East and North Africa refugees into the United States — including 10,000 who say they are from Syria — through the United Nations-run refugee resettlement program.

This is a grave mistake and a serious national security risk to the American people. The Islamic State has promised to exploit the U.S. refugee program and has already infiltrated the European refugee program. On November 13th, the Islamic State carried out a deadly attack in Paris, France involving "Syrian refugees" and homegrown jihadists, leading to the deaths of over 130 people. On March 22nd, in Brussels, Belgium, another Islamic State attack killed 32 innocent civilians.

President Obama's own Department of Homeland Security, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and director of national intelligence have said that they cannot properly vet or screen those posing as "Syrian refugees." Common sense dictates that if we cannot guarantee there is no connection to terrorism, then we should not invite them into the United States. Not only is this dangerous — it's insane, yet the Obama administration is more determined than ever to invite such evil into our country.

Simply put, the American people do not want the turmoil and violence of the Middle East brought into the United States. A growing number of Americans and political figures — including Donald Trump — see what has taken place in Europe, and around the world, and they don't want to see it happen in the United States.

That's why I introduced the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act (H.R. 3314) last July, which would place an immediate moratorium on all new refugee resettlements in the U.S. pending subsequent Congressional review and approval of more stringent and enhanced security screenings.

H.R. 3314 puts Congress back in the driver's seat of the refugee program by pausing the program until Congress passes a joint resolution that signs off on new security measures and gets a full accounting of just how many billions of dollars a year this program is adding to the national debt.

I took an oath under the U.S. Constitution to protect the American people from all enemies foreign and domestic. My first duty is to the American people. This 1980 refugee law – advanced by then-Senators Biden and Kennedy and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter – has created a gaping hole in our national security.

Suspending the refugee program is not a new idea. In fact, even the Obama administration did this for Iraqi refugees in 2011 when it was discovered that a terrorist had infiltrated the U.S. through the program.

It's time to put an end to political correctness and take the necessary steps to secure our borders, protect American citizens and ensure radical Islamic terror is not imported into the United States. If we do not act, we will undoubtedly be confronted with the same level of terror plaguing Europe – resulting in the deaths of many Americans.

Brian Babin represents Texas's 36th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

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