House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulBiden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict More Republicans call on Biden to designate Taliban as terrorist group How lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation MORE (R-Texas) is urging that President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhite House debates vaccines for air travel Five questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward MORE rethink his plan for resettling Syria’s refugees.
“In light of the terrorist attack in Paris, I call on you to temporarily suspend the admission of all additional Syrian refugees into the United States pending a full review of the Syrian refugee resettlement program,” he wrote in a letter to Obama Monday.
“Our nation has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees into our country, but in this particular case the high-threat environment demands that we move forward with greater caution in order to protect the American people and to prevent terrorists from reaching our shores,” McCaul said.
“You have proposed resettling at least 10,000 Syrian refugees – currently residing outside the Syria conflict zone in refugee camps – to the United States this fiscal year, in addition to more than 1,800 already resettled since 2011,” he added.
“We remain concerned that these resettlements are taking place without appropriate regard for the safety of the American people.”
McCaul’s letter follows last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris that killed more than 129 people there.
Reports have since emerged suggesting at least one of the extremists may have entered France by pretending he was a Syrian refugee.
McCaul argued Monday that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has repeatedly expressed interest in using Syria’s migrant crisis for its own ends.
“In addition to the potential that operatives exploited asylee programs to wage their deadly attack in Paris, there have been longstanding indications that ISIS and other Islamic terrorists are seeking to exploit refugee flows into the West,” he said.
“These factors demand action and immediate reassessment of our security screening processes,” McCaul added.
Obama has repeatedly promised that the U.S. would open its borders for at least 10,000 of the over 4 million Syrian refugees by next year.
He defended his strategy Monday despite growing concern from conservatives that the program may become a Trojan horse.
“The people who are most harmed by terrorism, they are the most vulnerable as a consequence of civil war and strife,” he said during the G-20 Summit in Ankara, Turkey.
Multiple state governments vowed Monday that they are refusing Syrian refugees in light of last Friday’s bloodshed.
At least 14 Republican governors said by that afternoon they are not cooperating with the administration’s efforts.