Over the weekend during an interview with CBS News' Face The Nation, Democrat presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested the United States should take in 65,000 refugees fleeing the Middle East. At this point the Obama administration has increased the number of refugees from Syria from 1500 to 10,000.
"I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000 and begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in," Clinton said.
But despite Clinton's best intentions, she fails to mention or acknowledge a major obstacle. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have said there is no system in place to vet refugees for terrorism. ISIS has declared it will use the refugee crisis to traffic training fighters onto U.S. soil. Immediately opening the country to 65,000 refugees without a system to vet them would be irresponsible and dangerous to the national security and safety of Americans.
Late last week, Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul introduced legislation that would give Congress more control over the decisions made to bring more Syrian refugees to the United States.
Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, introduced the Refugee Resettlement Oversight and Security Act. If enacted into law, this legislation would give the American people’s representatives the chance to vote up or down on the President’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States and improve the security vetting process. Specifically, this bill will:
Require affirmative approval by both the House and Senate before any refugees are admitted to the U.S.
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.
Ensure DHS, in coordination with DNI and FBI, provides 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. 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 about the legislation. “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.”