The Obama administration’s effort to resettle tens of thousands of people from Syria and elsewhere to the U.S. is a national security risk, presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) argues.
Since ISIS wants to exploit the refugee flow from Syria to gain access to Europe and the U.S. Cruz is calling for the administration to view the situation not simply as a humanitarian crisis but as a threat to America’s security.
“The goals and policies developed by you and the President, which apparently seek to ensure the admission of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees over the next few years, have prioritized the needs of foreign nationals of unknown backgrounds, affiliations, and motivations over the safety and security of American citizens,” Cruz wrote in a letter Wednesday to Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson, Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and FBI Director James Comey.
Earlier this week Kerry announced that the administration is planning to resettle at least 185,000 refugees over the next two years, including high numbers of refugees from terrorist hot spots including Syria.
The announcement has been met with criticism from Republican lawmakers who have not only highlighted the fiscal cost but also the national security threats, and according to Cruz, lawmakers require a lot more information and a say in the process.
“In the current threat environment – with an Administration that seems more intent on responding to the interests of the world than the needs of the American people – Congress has an obligation to be vocal and, if necessary, resist this effort,” he wrote.
The Republican lawmaker stressed that his concerns relate entirely to national security, not immigration policy.
“Congress needs much more information before we can allow the United States to engage in a process that could wind up spending taxpayer dollars to import terrorism, much less fund that process,” the Cruz wrote.
He pressed the agency heads for more information including details about the vetting process for refugees, about those who have already sought entry as refugees from the region. Additionally he called on the agencies to preserve all documents, going back to 2013, dealing with the situation.