The White House announced Wednesday President Obama intends to veto a GOP bill which would boost the screening process for expected Syrian and Iraqi refugees attempting to seek refuge in the United States.
The bill would require the FBI to conduct individual background checks and approval from federal officials, but not necessitate a religious litmus test for entry, nor halt the refugee program.
“This is common sense. And it’s our obligation. If the intelligence and law-enforcement community cannot certify that a person presents no threat, then they should not be allowed in,” said Speaker Paul Ryan.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the White House declared Mr. Obama’s strong opposition to House Syrian refugee bill (H.R. 4038 – American SAFE Act of 2015).
The statement, in part, read:
“The Administration’s highest priority is to ensure the safety and security of the American people. That is why refugees of all nationalities, including Syrians and Iraqis, considered for admission to the United States undergo the most rigorous and thorough security screening of anyone admitted into the United States. This legislation would introduce unnecessary and impractical requirements that would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many of whom are victims of terrorism, and would undermine our partners in the Middle East and Europe in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis. The Administration therefore strongly opposes H.R. 4038.”
The House passed the bill with support from almost 50 Democrats on Thursday, 289-137.
While there is every reason to believe widespread concerns ISIS or associated terror groups may have infiltrated the cluster of refugees with members of their nefarious movement, a reasonable approach may be to allow women, children and both the infirm and elderly sanctuary under normal vetting procedures, as they are less likely to require constant attention.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 62 percent of refugees fleeing the war-torn region are men. While there is no need to burst into hysterics, the mere fact a majority of asylum seekers are male is a source of consternation and the possibility of this sample being insinuated into the United States by terror cells is alarming.
As we are aware, at least one man, posing as Ahmad Al-Mohammad, gained entry to Europe traveling on a forged Syrian passport.
The United States makes inquiries out of a sense of obligation and security concerns; the criteria for entry can be more rigid for males.
Given the fact American foreign policy, military action or inaction contributed to this plight, we have an obligation to provide shelter to those who can be vetted without excessive scrutiny.
There should be few objections to the re-settling part of these beleaguered people and quickly.
[Reuters] [New York Times] [data.unhcr.org] [Wall Street Journal] [Photo courtesy sbs.com]