U.S. Customs and Border Protection appears to have validated Republicans’ biggest security concerns over Syrian migrants.
Two federal agents working under the authority of CBP told Breitbart News that eight Syrian illegal aliens attempted to enter Texas from Mexico. The agents, speaking on condition of anonymity on Monday, said the Syrians were apprehended by the Laredo Border Patrol.
The Syrians were taken into custody Monday, sources told the news organization.
“Border Patrol agents who we represent have been contacting our organization to voice concerns about reports from other agents that Syrians crossed the U.S. border from Mexico in the Laredo Sector. Our agents have heard about Syrians being apprehended in the area from other federal agents,” Border Patrol agent and NBPC Local 2455 President Hector Garza told Breitbart Wednesday. “At this time, I cannot confirm or deny that Syrians have crossed, for security reasons.”
Reports of the Laredo, Texas, apprehensions coincide with the detention of five Syrian nationals in Honduras who were traveling to the U.S. The individuals were found with stolen Greek passports in their possession, WND reported.
“The group of Syrian men was held late on Tuesday in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa on arrival from Costa Rica and they were planning to head to the border with neighboring Guatemala,” Fox reported. “The passports had been doctored to replace the photographs with those of the Syrians, police said.”
The five are still in police custody.
At least 66 men and women linked with ISIS-related terror plots on American soil have been arrested and charged with crimes, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
Republicans in the House and Senate, along with 15 state governors, have voiced strong opposition to President Obama’s plan to accept 10,000 Syrian migrants in 2016 and 100,000 from all countries in 2017. The American SAFE act was drafted by 15 House Republicans to cut off funding for Obama’s Syrian resettlement program, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul plans to introduce a similar bill in the Senate.
Obama has threatened to veto any Republican-backed bill that stymies efforts to process migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.
“This legislation would introduce unnecessary and impractical requirements that would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many of whom are victims of terrorism, and would undermine our partners in the Middle East and Europe in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis. The administration therefore strongly opposes H.R. 4038,” the White House said in a statement released Wednesday.
The White House has also used social media to try and sway public opinion in favor of Obama’s refugee plan while simultaneously lashing out at Republican critics.
“In the days since the attack on Paris some have taken the narrow view that protecting Americans from ISIL mandates that we turn our back on those most at risk to the terrorist group – the men, women and children forced to flee their homes and families, their schools and communities,” Amy Pope, deputy assistant to the president for homeland security, said on the White House website Tuesday. “The administration rejects the flawed view that we can’t ensure our own safety while also welcoming refugees desperately seeking their own safety. The truth is: America can and must do both.”
Obama amplified criticism of Republicans by promoting the hastag #RefugeesWelcome on social media.
“We don’t have religious tests for our compassion. #RefugeesWelcome,” the White House Twitter account wrote on behalf Obama Wednesday.