Babin Leads Effort to Pause Refugee Program from Terrorist Hotbeds Until Congress Approves New Security Checks
Washington, September 15, 2016
Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) was joined by 37 of his colleagues today in sending a letter to Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McCarthy and Appropriations Chairman Rogers asking that provisions be included in the upcoming Continuing Resolution legislation that would put in place a moratorium on refugees coming from terrorist hotbeds in Syria, the Middle East, and North Africa until appropriate screening procedures are put in place and Congress is given a full accounting of the costs of this program.
“There is no duty of the federal government more important than ensuring the protection of the American people,” the letter states. “We believe it is prudent and in the best interest of the American people that language be included in the upcoming FY 2017 Continuing Resolution to restore Congressional oversight and authority over the refugee program. We cannot allow the refugee program to serve as a Trojan Horse threat to American national security. Our sworn duty is first and foremost to the safety and security of the American people.”
The letter can be read here and below:
Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McCarthy and Chairman Rogers,
We are writing to express our concerns about the continuing threat of terrorism and to urge that the Congress exercise greater oversight and authority over the refugee resettlement programs as we consider the FY2017 Continuing Resolution legislation.
In the aftermath of the attacks by radical Islamist jihadists in Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, Nice, Germany, Istanbul and Orlando, the American people have become increasingly wary of the massive refugee influx from terrorist hot spots, the inability to conduct proper security screening of these individuals and the serious national security concerns this raises for the American people.
Furthermore, the President’s rush to meet an arbitrary number of 10,000 Syrian refugee admissions in FY 2016, in spite of security concerns raised by top Administration national security officials, indicates that national security concerns are being set aside in order to meet arbitrary policy goals.
The Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secretary of Homeland Security have each stated that they cannot properly screen refugees coming from Syria and the surrounding regions for possible threats to our national security.
There is no duty of the federal government more important than ensuring the protection of the American people. We believe that we would fall short of that duty if the Congress fails to exercise greater authority over the Administration’s refugee resettlement program. We see this as an important national security concern and ask that this concern be addressed in the upcoming negotiations over funding in the FY 2017 Continuing Resolution.
We believe it is prudent and in the best interest of the American people that language be included in the upcoming FY 2017 Continuing Resolution to restore Congressional oversight and authority over the refugee program. Specifically we would ask that you consider putting language in the continuing resolution that would:
1. Prevent federal funds from being used to admit to the United States refugees from Syria, the Middle East and North Africa until the following conditions are met:
a. Federal Immigration, law enforcement and national security agencies put in place processes to ensure that refugee and related programs are not able to be co-opted by would be terrorists;
b. That such process and programs are provided to the Congress in both classified and public formats;
c. That a longer-term monitoring process be put into place for those admitted to the U.S. as refugees; and
d. That no federal funds may be used for refugee travel to the U.S. or any U.S. resettlement of refugees from this troubled region until Congress has passed by joint resolution a bill that specifically approves funding for such purposes.
2. Permit U.S. funds to continue to be used to provide for the safety of refugees overseas, including housing, food and medical aid.
ISIS has repeatedly declared that they would infiltrate the refugee community that is leaving the Middle East and flooding into Europe. The attacks across Europe over the past year appear to be a fulfillment of that threat. We cannot allow the refugee program to serve as a Trojan Horse threat to American national security. Our sworn duty is first and foremost to the safety and security of the American people.We look forward to working with you to make this a priority in the Continuing Resolution.