Legislation that would give Congress the chance to vote up or down on President Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States and improve the security vetting process has been introduced by House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).
- Require affirmative approval by both the House and Senate before any refugees are admitted to the US;
- Allow Congress to block any inadequate refugee resettlement plan put forward by the President;
- Require the administration, when considering the admission of refugees from Iraq and Syria, to prioritize the resettlement of oppressed religious minorities; and
- Ensure the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence and FBI, provide new security assurances before admitting refugees into the country and for the Governmental Accountability Office to conduct a sweeping review of security gaps in the current refugee screening process.
"Many Americans are understandably concerned about the threat posed by inadequate security screening procedures for refugee seeking entry into the United States,” McCaul said. ISIS themselves have stated their intention to take advantage of the crisis to infiltrate the west. We have to take this threat seriously.”
McCaul said, “This bill will rein in the Administration’s refugee resettlement plans and give Congress more control over the process by requiring the Administration to get affirmative approval from Congress through the enactment of a joint resolution before any refugees may be admitted into the United States.
“These important security updates to the refugee process are necessary for not only the security of the United States, but for the safety of the refugees,” McCaul added.
“ISIS and other terrorist groups have made it abundantly clear that they will use the refugee crisis to try to enter the United States. Now, the Obama administration wants to bring in an additional ten thousand Syrians without a concrete and foolproof plan to ensure that terrorists won’t be able to enter the country, House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Senate Committee on the Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a joint statement last week following Secretary of State John Kerry announcing the United States would accept 10,000 additional Syrian refugees on top of the 75,000 worldwide refugees Kerry announced after a consultation, as required by law, between Kerry and leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to discuss the proposed annual number of refugees the administration planned to admit into the United States.
"The administration has essentially given the American people a ‘trust me.’” That isn’t good enough,” Goodlatte and Grassley stated.