Sen. Sessions: House Refugee Bill Fails to Defend Americans

CQ Roll Call via AP

Sen. Jeff Sessions said Wednesday the refugee bill that the House of Representatives is considering, The American SAFE Act, doesn’t protect the interests of the American people.

He said in a statement that the proposal is based on “a flawed premise” that the U.S. government can properly “vet Syrian refugees.”

“Just over a month ago, officials from the Department of Homeland Security admitted before the Immigration Subcommittee that there is no database in Syria against which they can run a check” Sessions said. “They have no way to enter Syria to verify the applicants’ personal information. And we know the region is being flooded with false documents.”

Sessions also blasted the plan as fiscally irresponsible. He pointed to a recent analysis showing that 10,000 refugees would cost the American taxpayer $6.5 billion. He said that the plan does not “offset a single penny of increased refugee resettlement costs.” Sessions said:

As currently structured, the House plan would give the President the money he wants for refugee resettlement and then leave taxpayers on the hook now and in the years to come for the tens of billions of dollars in uncapped welfare, education, and entitlement costs certain to accrue. Thus, in addition to the enormous welfare costs – 91% of recent Middle Eastern refugees are on food stamps and 73% receive free healthcare – we will also be taking money directly from Americans’ Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds to provide retirement benefits for refugees. The real costs of this refugee expansion has not even been ascertained.

He said that the act allows, “the President to continue to bring in as many refugees as he wants from anywhere in the world.”

Sessions argued that the only solution America has is to, “not to have the populations of all the Middle Eastern countries move to Europe and the United States.”