A Democratic congressman is raising concerns about Syrians entering the U.S. via the southern border, pointing out that such a phenomena negates the idea of an extensive vetting process for Syrian refugees.
In the wake of recent reports about Syrians crossing into the U.S. through the southwest border, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) says the country needs a plan about how to deal with Middle Eastern refugees who come to the U.S. through the southern border.
“They are going to try to short circuit that wait of 18 to 24 months,” Cuellar said in an interview with News Radio 1200 WOAI. “They will come in here, make their claim, and if there is nothing to hold them, they will be released.”
Syrians have already crossed into the U.S. seeking asylum, others have been intercepted in Honduras with fraudulent passports and plans to travel to the U.S. While Obama officials have championed the vetting process for Syrian refugees — despite concerns voiced by top officials and GOP lawmakers — individuals seeking asylum at the southern border are largely held for a short time in detention facilities before being released into the U.S. to await immigration hearings.
The concern about Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. through the southern border happens as a myriad of lawmakers and governors warn about the possibility that terrorists will infiltrate the refugee process and come to the U.S. It also comes as the U.S. continues to experience a run on the border by tens of thousands of Central American migrants seeking to remain in the U.S.
Fox News reported earlier this year that few of the illegal immigrants released into the U.S. to await immigration hearings showed up for their court data, with the vast majority simply absconding.
Speaking to WOAI, Cuellar advised that the U.S. partner with Mexico to stem the flood of migrants.
“Mexico stopped 174,00 people last year that were coming into the U.S, and they did it only with $80 million,” he said.
Even with Mexico’s pursuit of illegal immigrants this year, the flood of Central Americans to the U.S. has remained high. According to WOAI, Cuellar said the U.S. needs to start taking action to deal with migrants pursuing access to the U.S. through southern border.