Two Texas congressmen are leading the attack against President Obama’s plans to vastly increase the number of foreign refugees allowed into the U.S. – many of them from Middle Eastern nations known for being hotbeds of jihadist activity.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, introduced a bill Friday that deals specifically with Syrian refugees and requires approval by both the House and Senate before any refugees from Syria are admitted into the U.S.
The bill would also require the administration, when considering refugees from Iraq and Syria, to prioritize the resettlement of Christians and other oppressed religious minorities.
Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, who introduced the Refugee Accountability National Security Act more than two months ago and recently picked up 10 co-sponsors, said his bill will complement McCaul’s and the two will not counter-act each other in any way.
Babin’s bill would halt all refugee resettlements from all countries until Congress can get hard data on the financial impact to federal, state and local governments and also get a full accounting of the national security risks associated with the resettlement of between 70,000 and 100,000 foreign refugees every year.
The U.S. has accepted 70,000 refugees annually from all countries for many years, but Obama wants to increase that to 85,000 next year and 100,000 in 2017.
United Nations should not be picking U.S. refugees
After studying up on the program, Babin, a freshman congressman representing the suburban Houston area, said he was horrified to learn that the United Nations selects almost all of the refugees sent to American cities and towns.
“This is all being done based on a law signed by Jimmy Carter in 1980, and it actually allows the U.N. to decide which people are coming here and where they are coming from, and then we have private contractors, supposedly nonprofit, that are resettling these folks around the country, but they are making big bucks off of it,” Babin told WND.
A former mayor, Babin said he’s been hearing from elected officials around the country who say they are concerned about the financial burden this program is placing on their towns.
“And they can’t get any information, it’s so secretive,” Babin said.
The fact that private contractors – such as Lutheran Social Services, the International Rescue Committee, World Relief and Catholic Charities – are doing the government’s work means that critical facts and figures are not available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act.
“That’s why the average citizen is in the dark about this program, but thanks to people like you (WND) who will actually do their homework and inform people about this subject, word is starting to get out,” Babin said.
WND has reported about 40 stories on the refugee resettlement program over the past 14 months, including stories about local resistance to the program in Twin Falls, Idaho; St. Cloud, Minnesota; Fargo, North Dakota; and Spartanburg, South Carolina.
“The president just announced 85,000 more refugees will enter the U.S. this coming year and 100,000 the next year, mostly from the Middle East where we are having all these problems, and then we’re importing these same problems into the United States,” Babin said.
Babin said he hopes the GOP presidential candidates will talk more about the refugee crisis and what they would do if elected. Would they conduct business as usual, importing 70,000 to 100,000 refugees into the U.S. every year, and from what countries would they be coming?
Why Trump, Fiorina strike chord with voters
“This is why in think Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina are doing so well, because they are not afraid to tell the truth, because so often when you turn up a red flag and warn about something like this you are accused of being narrow-minded or bigoted. But I swore an oath to protect the national security of the United States, and I have 12 grandchildren, and I am very worried about these refugees who refuse to assimilate and then get loaded onto state and federal assistance and then become a burden on local communities’ school systems and health-care systems,” Babin said. “I am also a former dentist, so I have seen some of this before in living color.”
McCaul, in a statement released Monday, said he believes his bill will engender widespread public support, although it is guaranteed to be ignored by most of the establishment media and sneered at by the refugee lobbyists.
“Many Americans are understandably concerned about the threat posed by inadequate security screening procedures for refugee seeking entry into the United States,” McCaul said in a statement. “ISIS themselves have stated their intention to take advantage of the crisis to infiltrate the West. We have to take this threat seriously.
“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.”
McCaul’s bill would require the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the FBI, to 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.
He said regular security updates are necessary for not only the security of the United States, but for the safety of the refugees.
Babin said he’s baffled by any elected official at the federal level “who doesn’t have serious misgivings and want to find out more about this program.
“My bill is going to stop the program until we can find out the financial impact on all levels of government and the national security implications.”
Bush, Rubio, others in GOP agree with Democrats
Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and John Kasich have all said the U.S. should consider taking in more Syrian refugees, essentially agreeing with the policy of Obama and Democrats in Congress.
“When we have a GOP presidential candidate saying we need to take more of these refugees, you really have to wonder where he’s getting his information from,” Babin said.
It was widely reported in February that an ISIS operative had told BuzzFeed that it had already assembled an army of 4,000 trained jihadist fighters in Europe who entered under the guise of being “refugees.”
And that was well before the biggest waves of migrants started swarming across Europe’s borders.
America has also received its share of Islamic jihadists who came as refugees or asylum seekers, including some who came as small boys with their parents and grew up to be jihadists after attending Saudi Arabian-funded radical mosques in the U.S.
There is evidence that 72 cases of alleged terrorist activity over the past year have been committed by Muslim immigrants in America, according to a report by the Senate immigration committee. Many of them have been refugees, such as the six Somalis living in Minnesota who tried to repeatedly board flights to the Middle East and join ISIS. Another Somali refugee working as a cab driver in Virginia was added to the FBI’s “most wanted terrorist” list earlier this year for allegedly recruiting members for al-Shabab and al-Qaida. Another refugee from Uzbekistan pleaded guilty last month in Boise, Idaho, where he was resettled in 2009, to conspiring to make bombs and blow up U.S. military installations. The Boston bombers were asylum seekers from Chechnya, and the Chattanooga shooter emigrated to the U.S. with his family from Kuwait when he was a 6-year-old boy.
In the Senate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., is leading the opposition to Obama’s refugee plan.
“The U.S. has already taken in four times more immigrants than any other nation on Earth. Our foreign-born population share is set to break every known historical record,” Sessions said in a statement Monday. “Since 9/11, we have permanently resettled approximately 1.5 million migrants from Muslim nations inside the U.S. Ninety percent of recent refugees from the Middle East living in our country are receiving food stamps and approximately 70 percent are receiving free health care and cash welfare. All of the nearly 200,000 refugees the administration is planning to bring over the next two years would be entitled to these same benefits the moment they arrive.”
This refugee expansion would be in addition to the 1 million autopilot green cards handed out each year by the government to mostly low-wage migrants, including a large share from Middle Eastern nations, Sessions said.
“Our schools, job markets and public resources are already stretched too thin,” he said. “And, even at current rates, we have no capacity to screen for extremist ideology, as we have seen with the surge of ISIS recruitment in Minnesota’s Somali refugee community.”
Andrew Luger, U.S. attorney for Minnesota, admitted in April that Minnesota “has a terror recruitment problem” in its Somali community.
Meanwhile, the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Bahrain have accepted zero refugees.
“Middle Eastern nations must take the lead in resettling their region’s refugees,” Sessions said. “The goal of responsible refugee resettlement should be to relocate displaced persons as close to their homes as possible and to seek their return to their country of origin in more stable conditions.”
He said 75 percent of those surging into Europe are not war refugees but economic migrants from many countries, only one of which is Syria.
“At bottom, it is not a sound policy to respond to the myriad problems in the Middle East by encouraging millions to abandon their home,” Sessions said. “Absorbing the region’s migrants is not a long-term strategy for stabilizing the region; instead, we should look soberly at our most recent actions in Libya, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere while encouraging migrant populations to remain in the region where they can contribute to social and political reforms.”
Babin also said he doesn’t believe the majority of those flooding into Europe, only 51 percent of whom the U.N. identifies as Syrians, are true war refugees.
‘These are men who should be toting a rifle’
“The U.N. stats themselves tell us that those refugees leaving the Middle East and going into Europe are 71 percent male between 20 and 40 years old. These are men who should be toting a rifle and fighting for their country,” Babin said. “I feel for these people, but we need to offer assistance where they are.”
The U.S. has already offered $4 billion in aid for the refugees fleeing Syria, and it is also the largest financial contributor to the United Nations.
“And I don’t think the average Joe out there knows that it is the U.N. that is choosing the refugees who come in to America. We’re already taking 70,000 a year and with ISIS promising to infiltrate that program, this is going to allow them to establish bases, actual cells, in our country, while they’re claiming welfare benefits and using our money to do it. We’ve already seen some jihadi attacks, in Oklahoma City, Chattanooga, Boston, and then combine that with the financial burden, and I just think it’s important we get the word out on this.”
According to data from the Office of Refugee Resettlement provided to the Senate immigration subcommittee, 91 percent of refugees from the Middle East who came to America between 2008 and 2015 received food stamps. Seventy-one percent are on Medicaid, and 61 percent receive cash welfare payments.
“This does not even account for local assistance, and this is why when they come under the auspices of these contractors. Local communities don’t even have a say as to how many refugees they will get and from where, and as the federal assistance dwindles and winds down, then they become a burden on the local system,” Babin said. “I ran for Congress not for a new career. I ran to make sure this country offers the same opportunities for my grandchildren as I had, and that we remain strong militarily.”
Babin said he agrees with McCaul’s bill that Christians and other religious minorities should be given priority among any refugees brought to America.
“They’re the ones being beheaded, burned alive, crucified, their women raped, confiscation of property and yet from the information we can get less than 5 percent of our refugees (from Syria) are Christians,” Babin said. “That is just unacceptable, and it tells you why these people are not assimilating. I don’t want to see American cities become like London and some of the cities in Europe, where you have no-go zones and the police are afraid to go in. We ought to be giving extreme consideration to persecuted religious minorities, not just taking whatever refugees the U.N. sends our way.”
Babin said he will keep drilling down on the refugee program until he gets some answers.
“I’m a former dentist, and dentists have a way of getting to the root of the problem,” he said.
He said the politically correct lobbies are already out in force trying to kill his bill and pressuring other congressmen not to support it.
“I’m an original cosponsor of Congressman McCaul’s bill, and he’s an original cosponsor of mine. Both are good bills. I just hope we can get a number of Republicans to come on board, but again there is a lot of pressure, a lot of politically correct pressure from various lobbies keeping people from taking a serious look at these bills. To me, there could be no more important issue we’ll see in the years to come than the Iran nuclear deal and this refugee crisis. The dire implications of these two issues, if we don’t get them right, are very hard to even think about.”