Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Morgan Griffith Calls for a Pause

From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith, R-VA-9:

Griffith Calls for a Pause on Admittance of Syrian Refugees into the U.S.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 – Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s plan to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States:

“During these troubled times, a priority of the federal government must be to protect the American people.”

“President Obama has proposed that the United States accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees for resettlement. This would not be without risk, as there is not sufficient data about the vast majority of refugees. Therefore, these refugees cannot be significantly vetted. Vetting is difficult, particularly when we take into account two factors – 1) we are now dealing with thousands instead of hundreds of individuals, and 2) ISIS, etc. is using the flood of refugees to smuggle terrorists into Western countries.”

“No plan will be perfect, but our approach must be prudent. Accordingly, I and others are of the belief that the prudent action to take is to pause the admittance of additional Syrian refugees into the United States.”

“As FBI Director James Comey testified in an October 21 House Homeland Security Committee hearing, ‘…if someone has not made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interests reflected in our databases, we can query our databases until the cows come home but nothing will show up because we have no record of that person…You can only query what you have collected.’”

“Echoing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), I say, ‘This is a moment when it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.’”

“In addition to pausing this particular part of the refugee program, other actions may be taken. For example, I have repeatedly noted my belief that the President does not have the authority to wage an extended war on ISIS without Congressional approval. Congress must debate and vote on an authorization for the use of military force against ISIS. Additionally, our Arab allies including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, etc. ought to provide troops on the ground in the field of battle.”

“That all having been said, we cannot disregard the plight of many people in war-torn areas of the Middle East – minority religions, particularly Christians, have been targeted by ISIS. We should consider providing aid to help refugees elsewhere, without bringing them to American soil.”

“In the House of Representatives, a task force is examining and expeditiously developing suggestions regarding Congress’ role in defeating ISIS, and also concerning potential national security implications of the President’s plans to resettle at least 10,000 Syrians in the United States. I seek a balanced Congressional response, and look forward to thoroughly reviewing the task force’s recommendations.”

“In the meantime, we must pause the admittance of additional Syrian refugees into the United States.”