WASHINGTON – Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL1) sent a letter to President Barack Obama Monday morning demanding he stop the refugee resettlement program for Syrian refugees due to national security concerns.
Reports indicate that at least one of the attackers in the Paris terror attacks had entered France through the refugee process. The Islamic State has repeatedly indicated they will attempt to embed terrorists in the refugee process.
For weeks, Congressman Byrne has sought more information about the screening process Syrian refugees must undergo before being allowed to enter the United States. He sent a letter to the State Department requesting more information and recently attended a classified briefing about the screening process. Despite the information, he believes the screening process is not strong enough to adequately protect the American people.
1. More than 100 Syrian refugees could soon be in Mobile, given Medicaid and food stamps
2. Byrne wants Congressional power to block Syrian refugees from entering Alabama, U.S.
3. Bentley refuses Syrian refugees relocating to Alabama
As a result, Byrne is co-sponsoring the Refugee Resettlement Oversight and Security Act. The bill would give Congress the power to block any refugee resettlement plan and would require Congress to approve any plan before refugees can arrive in the United States.
In his latest letter to President Obama, Byrne demands that the United States halt the Syrian refugee resettlement program and vows to work with his colleagues in Congress to block it.
The text of Byrne’s letter reads as follows:
I write to you today to demand that you halt the refugee resettlement program for anyone from Syria. Recent events have demonstrated that groups like the Islamic State are using the refugee process to enter other countries.
On September 17, I sent a letter to the Department of State requesting more information on the screening and vetting process for Syrian refugees. I also requested and received a classified briefing to discuss the screening process. While I appreciate your Administration responding to my requests, the information I received failed to ease my concerns about the potential of Islamic State fighters embedding themselves in the refugee process.
It is now widely reported that at least one of the attackers responsible for the recent Paris terror attacks entered the country through the refugee process. We must do everything we can to prevent a similar attack from taking place here in America.
I will also be working with my colleagues in Congress on a full legislative response to the Paris terror attacks and the refugee crisis. In the meantime, I demand you halt the Syria refugee resettlement program.
We have no greater responsibility as a federal government than to ensure the safety and security of the American people. It is clearly in the best interest of the American people to halt the Syrian refugee resettlement program.
Byrne’s letter comes on the heels of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s announcement that he will reject any Syrian refugees scheduled to be relocated to the Yellowhammer State in the coming weeks.
But in spite of widespread concerns, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes says President Obama plans to push forward with plans to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country.
“We had very robust vetting procedures for those refugees,” Rhodes said on Fox News Sunday.
According to the U.S. State Department, more than 100 Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees were slated to be housed by Catholic Social Services (CSS) in Mobile, which is located within Congressman Byrne’s congressional district.