Sen. Sessions: Obama 'in denial' about inadequate vetting of refugees
Senator Jeff Sessions is once again issuing a warning to the administration about its inadequate vetting procedures that could lead to terrorist attacks here at home.
It's not that no one has been sounding the alarm. FBI director Comey and many in the intelligence community have been straightforward about the threat from the connection between refugee resettlement and terrorism. The problem is no one in the administration is listening to them.
“Despite a clear nexus between immigration and terrorism, and warnings from top officials in his own Administration about their inability to properly vet refugees, President Obama remains in denial about the dangers that his policies pose to the United States,” Sessions said in a statement Wednesday.
To Sessions, Obama’s refugee plan is reckless and fails to consider the real perils of a refugee flow that has already been infiltrated by terrorists in the past. The Alabama lawmaker said, “the Obama Administration leads the United States down a dangerous path — admitting as many refugees as possible from areas of the world where terrorists roam freely, and granting a temporary amnesty to Syrians living in the United States illegally. And contrary to the assertions made by many, the potential for future terror activity is real.”
According to Sessions, the administration should be seeking out locations of refuge for displaced migrants close to their homelands so that they might be able to return once the conflict is over. Instead, however, the Obama Administration has pursued a plan of further displacement, promising to bring at least 10,000 Syria refugees to U.S. shores by the end of this fiscal year — as Sessions noted, a nearly 500 percent increase over FY 2015 when just 1,600 Syrian refugees were admitted to the U.S.
“This radical increase places the safety and security of the American people at risk, there will surely be consequences,” Sessions said.
Sessions points to the worrying and growing numbers of refugees and the probabilty that the slipshod vetting regimen is allowing the wrong people to enter the U.S.:
As of August 9, 2016 the administration has already admitted 61,232 refugees this fiscal year, including 8,114 from Syria, 7,322 from Iraq, 7,067 from Somalia, 2,838 from Iran, and 1,924 from Afghanistan. By all accounts the Obama administration will achieve, if not exceed its goal of 10,000 Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S. this year and pursue a plan to resettle another 100,000 refugees in the U.S. next year.
Sessions notes that the threat of infiltration by terrorists is real, pointing out that at least 40 people admitted to the U.S. as refugees since September 11, 2001 have been implicated in terrorism.
“Some were admitted as adults, others as children, but these cases refute the false assertion that those admitted to the United States as refugees never engage in terrorism. But because these facts do not fit within his worldview, President Obama rejects them. And in so doing, he rejects his sacred oath for what he perceives as political gain,” Sessions said.
European security officials have said flat out that there are 500 terrorists on the continent who have made it to the West by blending in with refugees. Why should our vetting procedures be any better than theirs?
They aren't, but that's not the point the Obama administration is trying to make. Without saying so, the administration believes we can absorb a few terrorist attacks from refugees in order to achieve the higher humanitarian goal of admitting desperate people into the U.S. That is the subtext of the denial that there is any danger. We can sacrifice a few dozen or a few hundred American lives in order to show how much heart we have.
No matter how well we vet the newcomers, it is likely some terrorists will get through. Many agree with Mr. Trump that the refugee flow should be completely stopped. Others believe we can severely limit the risk simply by applying the same vetting procedures we use for any other immigrant. Either course of action would be far superior to the way the issue is being handled by the administration today.