Rep. Babin Op-Ed in National Review: America’s Refugee Program: A Clear and Present Danger
by Brian Babin
August 18, 2016
Fact: ISIS infiltrated the refugee flow into Europe.
Question: Why repeat Europe’s error?
Our nation’s refugee program is a clear and present danger to the United States of America. Over one year ago, I introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 3314, the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act of 2015, that would suspend the program and stop the president’s reckless plan to bring in tens of thousands of refugees from Syria and other radical Islamic hotspots.
America’s refugee program was signed into law by President Carter in 1980 as a private-public partnership between the federal government, the United Nations, and religious institutions whose purpose was to help victims of Communism. The president had the authority to increase the refugees coming into the U.S. from the U.N.-run refugee program only after full consultation with Congress.
Since 1980, Congress has relinquished considerable control over the refugee program to the president, the U.N., and a handful of private contractors who get paid millions of taxpayer dollars to settle refugees in our communities. While we have been unable to determine the current cost of this program to local and state taxpayers, federal taxpayers pay at least $1 billion a year.
President Obama has already admitted 8,000 of the 10,000 Syrian refugees he has promised to admit before leaving office, even while the attacks in Paris, Brussels, Nice, Boston, San Bernardino, and Orlando prove that terrorists have infiltrated and exploited the refugee programs of Western Europe and America, as well as our inept and porous immigration, asylum, and visa programs — leaving hundreds of Americans dead. Remarkably, Hillary Clinton has promised that if elected president, she will increase this number to 65,000 Syrian refugees in her first year.
President Obama’s own FBI director has warned that he cannot properly screen refugees coming from troubled terrorist hotspots such as Syria. But political correctness blinds far too many in Washington to this imminent peril. Our first duty as elected officials is to protect American citizens and national security — immediately.
We must reevaluate our policy regarding refugee resettlement to protect the safety, freedom, and liberty we value as American citizens. Our current program is a Trojan horse allowing ISIS and other terrorist groups an open invitation to immigrate into the U.S. and establish bases of operation legally and at taxpayer expense. It is simply common sense to protect what we value. We put our money in banks, lock our doors at night, fence our yards, and protect our families and communities.
There are currently 800 ongoing FBI investigations of ISIS-inspired terrorist suspects in the U.S., 48 of which are serious enough to justify round-the-clock surveillance. Last year, 31 ISIS terrorists were arrested plotting terror attacks against Americans. Documents seized by the FBI in raids of Islamic-extremist cells in the U.S prove that there is a written plan and strategy to wage jihad “by migration” on the U.S., by exploiting our immigration and refugee programs.
We need to look no further than Western Europe to see the results of unchecked, overwhelming refugee numbers. Millions of unassimilated Middle Eastern immigrants and refugees now live in Europe in what are essentially “no-go zones” where police fear to enter, sharia law essentially rules — and future jihadists are radicalized to the point where they aim to kill the very people whose generosity and cultural liberalism welcomed them into their country in the first place.
Undeniably, this tragic situation is a direct result of Europe’s liberal immigration and refugee programs. In fact, recent German intelligence reported this week in the U.S. shows “irrefutable evidence” that “ISIS hit squads” infiltrated Syrian refugees; the resulting carnage has sparked public outrage, resulting in a drastic reduction of the number of refugees accepted into the EU. This raises an unavoidable question: How can America be so willfully blind as to invite the same grave danger here?
As compassionate Americans, we can help displaced refugees in safe zones near their own homeland. Indeed, for the cost of bringing one refugee into the U.S. on a path to citizenship, we can help many more than that in safe zones.
In our history, thousands of people have found refuge in America and have contributed enormously to its greatness. America has always been a country of immigrants celebrating their individual heritages alongside the ideals of freedom and liberty that bind us together as Americans. But the world has changed, and a refugee policy that casts aside the safety of American citizens must also change. Innocent lives are at stake. H.R. 3314 must be brought to the floor of the U. S. Congress, passed, and signed into law. Although a veto by Obama is likely, it would be an absolute dereliction of our sworn duty not to try.
— Brian Babin is a military veteran who represents Texas’s 36th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.