November 16, 2015
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today released the following statement calling for a pause in the United States’ acceptance of Syrian refugees until Congress can thoroughly review the Obama administration’s vetting process:
“In light of the attacks in Paris, I call on the Obama administration to put a pause in accepting Syrians as refugees into the United States until Congress can review and conduct appropriate oversight of the State Department’s vetting process. Accepting refugees is an important and historical practice of our nation, but the Syrian refugee situation is atypical due to ISIS’s attempts to exploit the crisis and concerns over the validity of Syrian passports. We saw this danger first hand with Ahmad Al Mohammad who participated in the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and whose passport and fingerprints matched a person who passed through Greece as a Syrian refugee. With ISIS releasing a video on Monday vowing its next attacks on America, this is clearly not a time for the Obama administration to increase, much less expedite, refugees being brought to our soil. As the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said, ‘We don’t obviously put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees.’ Furthermore, the Obama administration must better secure our dangerously porous borders. One ISIS terrorist entering our country – through whatever means – will enable that cancer to grow and will directly threaten our homeland and its people.”
Prior to the Obama administration adjusting its policies on Syrian refugees, Inhofe sent a letter to the president on Sept. 25 calling for a stronger vetting process of Syrian refugees and for prioritization of orphaned children and persecuted religious minority groups. In the letter, Inhofe emphasized that ultimately the Obama administration must put forward a comprehensive strategy in the region to provide a permanent, long-term solution to the refugee crisis.