HOUSTON, Texas — U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX) told members of the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club there really is no way to vet Syrian refugees to make certain they are not a threat.
“If there is no data to check, there is no data to check,” McCaul said at the Thursday lunch meeting of local Republican activists. The chairman said he arrived at this conclusion after talking with some of the top security officials in the country.
McCaul’s concern about the proper vetting of Syrian refugees that President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton want to bring into this country led him to author the S.A.F.E. Act to put officials on record for their vetting actions. The American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act was passed by the House in November. However, a veto threat from President Obama caused the Senate to kill the bill and not allow it to move forward.
McCaul told Breitbart Texas the President called his bill a “poison pill” when it was attached to an omnibus spending bill, causing members of the Senate to remove it from moving forward.
One provision of the bill would require federal officials to personally sign off that the individual was not a threat to national security, McCaul explained.
The representative said he met with the top national security officials to find out what could be done to vet the officials. During a committee hearing chaired by McCaul in October, FBI Director James Comey, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secrtetary Jeh Johnson and Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, the leaders responsible for our nation’s security testified they believe Syrian terrorists will try to infiltrate the refugee ranks, Breitbart Texas reported in November.
Responding to a question from Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center answered, “We have certainly seen terrorist groups talk about, think about, exactly what you are describing, Mr. Smith. Trying to use available programs to get people not only into the United States, but into western European countries as well. So we know that they aspire to do that.” He said he did not know if he could say that they would likely succeed.
Just a few weeks later, a terrorist attack in Paris proved up his concerns. “We now know that two of the Paris attackers were terrorists that infiltrated the ranks of the Syrian refugees,” McCaul told the Houston Republican group.
The doubts about Syrian vetting grew stronger when Secretary Johnson admitted that prospective asylees are taken at their word when claiming no terrorist ties.
McCaul stated clearly on Thursday when he concluded that there are essentially no records to check.
The Congressional chairman, whose district spans from northwest of Houston to Austin, urged Republicans to support Donald Trump’s campaign for president. He said that Clinton will more than double the number of Syrian refugees coming to the United States and there is simply no way to vet them.
“We must put this program on hold until some way of ensuring they are not a threat can be determined.”
McCaul said Texas Governor Greg Abbott has done a great job of raising the public’s awareness to the dangers the refugees represent. He worked with the Governor and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to demand that Austin lives up to its responsibility to notify local communities of the refugees being placed in their communities. Texas leads the nation in hosting Syrian refugees at present. Nearly 3,000 have been place in Texas as part of President Obama’s newest refugee resettlement plans, Breitbart Texas reported in May.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.
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