The United States already admits massive numbers of global migrants and the Middle East should take the lead in resettling the current swell of refugees in that region, according to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.
“The United States has been doing more than its ‘fair share’ for decades. We have taken in 20 percent of global migrants, even as our country makes up only 5 percent of the global population,” Sessions said in a statement.
“Every year, on autopilot, we resettle at least another 1 million migrants on a permanent legal basis in the United States,” he added. “We lack the resources to properly screen those we are already admitting, with scores of visas issued to those subsequently indicted and convicted for terrorist activity.”
The Alabama lawmaker made his comments in reaction to President Obama’s plan to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. next year.
Sessions, an immigration hawk who has been warning about the impact of unfettered migration to the U.S. for years, noted that beyond the national security risks there are significant fiscal costs associated with mass immigration to the U.S. and refugee admissions in particular.
Refugees, once admitted to the U.S., are immediately eligible for the vast menu of welfare programs available to poor Americans and they use them.
Sessions highlighted that based on to the most recent data, more than 90 percent or recent refugees from the Middle East use food stamps and more than half of all immigrant households are on at least one welfare program.
“And, as one of the world’s leading debtors, we lack the funds to provide lifetime financial support to new arrivals,” Sessions noted.
According to Sessions, Middle Eastern nations need to step up, where many —particularly wealthy Gulf states — have largely kept their borders closed to the swelling masses.
“Middle Eastern nations should assume the primary task of absorbing this wave of refugees,” he said.
“Our guiding principle should be to help assist in the placement of refugees as close to their homes as possible, and to take such action as we are able to aid their return home in a stable situation,” he added. “This strategy will not only reduce the numbers making dangerous treks, but will create more impetus for political reforms in the region.”
Sessions concluded by pointing out that the foreign-born population in the U.S. is massive already and the focus should be on the plight of those already in the U.S.
“Finally: the foreign-born population share in the U.S. is set to break all historical records,” he said. “One-quarter of our country is presently an immigrant or the child of immigrants. The best thing we can do for these recent arrivals, and for all Americans, is to focus on improving economic conditions for those already living inside our borders.”