Cruz Grills DHS Official Into Admitting Some Refugees Are Allowed Into US Based on Their Testimony Alone

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Sep 29, 2016 8:45 AM
Cruz Grills DHS Official Into Admitting Some Refugees Are Allowed Into US Based on Their Testimony Alone

FBI Director James Comey has already acknowledged that the country can’t properly vet all Syrian refugees for ties to terror, but just how lenient the process can actually be may come as a surprise.

Grilling a top DHS official during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz read part of a DHS memorandum, which stated that the “refugee program is particularly vulnerable of fraud due to loose evidentiary requirements where at times the testimony of an applicant alone is sufficient for approval.”

Leon Rodriguez, director of Citizenship and Immigration Services at DHS, pushed back, arguing that the document was written by someone who lacked familiarity with the process.

Cruz then pressed him, asking if it is “true or false that the testimony of the applicant alone can be sufficient for approval?”

“It is considered, it depends on the case,” Rodriguez replied, before going into more detail.

“Mr. Rodriguez,” Cruz interrupted, “It’s a very simple question. … Is it true or false that the testimony of the applicant alone can be sufficient for approval?”

After another exchange, Cruz pressed him again wanting a clear answer. Finally, Rodriguez gave him what he was looking for.

“I am acknowledging that yes, testimony can be the basis for the grant of a refugee but it needs to be tested against other information that we know — about the country conditions, at a minimum.”