Scalise Urges President To Immediately Pause Admission Of Syrian Refugees
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) today sent President Barack Obama the following letter urging him to immediately pause the admission of Syrian refugees into Louisiana and the United States, and to provide state officials and their representatives in Congress with information on any refugees his Administration intends on resettling in their states, and on how federal officials are keeping track of these individuals. The letter reads as follows:
Dear Mr. President:
For several months, America’s law enforcement and intelligence communities—including the heads of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation—have warned that they lack the ability to properly vet people seeking to enter our country as refugees from Syria. Meanwhile, reports indicate that at least one of the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks entered Europe and registered as a refugee.
Despite these facts, you have doubled down on your plan to bring 10,000 more refugees from this region to America, including to my state of Louisiana. Mr. President, when ISIS terrorists say they want to exploit and infiltrate the refugee program to attack America, we ought to take that threat seriously. We must not allow that to happen. That is why I write on behalf of my constituents and the citizens of Louisiana to urge you to take the following steps:
1. Immediately pause the admission of these refugees into the United States. We cannot continue to admit more refugees while your Administration is unable to verify that each individual admitted would not pose a security risk to our homeland. Louisianans and all Americans deserve that assurance.
2. Provide state officials and their representatives in Congress with information on any refugees your Administration intends on resettling in their states, and on how federal officials are keeping track of these individuals. Currently, Homeland Security officials in the state of Louisiana say they have not received such information. It is inexcusable that impacted states should have to find out this information from media reports rather than from federal agencies.
Mr. President, America and Louisiana have a proud tradition of providing humanitarian assistance. The need for such assistance in the Middle East is clear. But giving that assistance need not—and must not—come at the expense of America's national security. Our government already provides critical resources and humanitarian assistance to displaced Syrians in neighboring countries, such as Turkey and Jordan, where they are well positioned to retake their country.
For many reasons, including the fact that you cannot fully assure Americans that terrorists are not abusing the refugee process to achieve their own deadly goals against the United States, I am calling on you to pause this program immediately.
Member of Congress