Blog Post – Balancing America’s Safety with What is Best for Syrian Refugees
Around 2:00 this afternoon the US House passed, by a 289 to 137 vote, HR 4038 – the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act which would delay Syrian refugees coming into the US. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid plans on stopping it in the Senate. President Obama says he will veto it if the bill reaches his desk. Forty-seven Democrats defied President Obama and voted for the bill — none of them were from PA! So — the 13 PA Republican Congressmen joined the 289 who supported protecting Americans and the six PA Democrat Congressman voted to allow potential terrorists into the country by the tens of thousands! Are we beginning to see a pattern here?
HR 4038 requires additional certification – from the FBI Director, National Intelligence Director, and Secretary of Homeland Security – that each Syrian or Iraqi refugee is not a security threat before he or she is resettled in the United States. As FBI Director James Comey has testified, Syria has no database – no records – that the US can use to properly vet those refugees coming from that country. Republican leadership argues passage of HR 4038 pauses Obama’s Syrian refugee program, but will it? A very troubling aspect of this bill is that it only pertains to individuals with documents from Iraq and Syria. This Monday eight Syrians were caught in Laredo, Texas trying to cross the US border from Mexico. Earlier five Syrians were caught in Honduras attempting to enter the US with stolen Greek documents! Would this just- passed bill have stopped a Syrian carrying Greek stolen documents or would he have just been waved through since the documents he carried were not from Iraq or Syria??
Another thing to consider is these people are not fleeing a war zone. They have already done that. These people are fleeing the safety and relative comfort of internationally supported refugee camps in Turkey. They also are not refugees as we ordinarily consider them. The UN High Commissioner On Refugees says 65% are military aged males. So . . . is this really an invasion and we are opening the door wide for them to simply walk through it? We’ve already seen what has happened in Europe where on September 21st the European Union approved a plan committing itself to taking in 120,000 Syrian refugees. Thus far Germany has taken in 200,000 Syrians, Sweden at least 78,000, the Netherlands 36,000, Austria 200,000, Greece over 60,000, United Kingdom 5,102, France and Denmark 5,000 each and on and on. What better way to take over a country!
Additionally, if the Obama administration really wanted to help as many people as possible while keeping American safe, they should use a wiser strategy! The Center for Immigration Studies reports that for the money spent to resettle one refugee in America, we could be helping twelve refugees abroad. So . . . just what is the purpose of flooding the US with Syrian refugees?
Last night PA Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) joined 15 of his fellow Republican Congressmen and tried to offer an amendment to HR 4038 – a modification of HR 3314, the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act. This bill was introduced in July by Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36) and is supported by one-third of Republicans in the US House. The modification introduced as an amendment would have halted the resettlement program for 180 days and require a Government Accountability Office study within 90 days on the economic impact on state and local governments. Republican leadership rejected this amendment and every other one offered!
What is Republican leadership’s agenda or are they just willing pawns in the remaking of America?