Opinion: Refugee Resettlement

 

October 1, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Stephen Miller, 202.224.4124
 
Sessions Expresses Severe Concern Following Admin Refugee Testimony
 
“The testimony provided today only further erodes my confidence in our ability to vet Syrian refugees or to control the extraordinary expense imposed on taxpayers…
 
The responsible and compassionate course for the United States is to help assist in the placement of refugees as close to their homes as possible…Encouraging millions to abandon their homes in the Middle East only further destabilizes the region, while imposing enormous costs on an American public that is struggling with low pay, rising crime, high deficits, and overstretched community resources.”
 
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, issued the following statement today after the conclusion of the oversight hearing on the Administration’s planned refugee resettlement surge:
 
“Today the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest conducted an oversight hearing with four Administration officials responsible for administering America’s refugee programs.  The testimony provided today only further erodes my confidence in our ability to vet Syrian refugees or to control the extraordinary expense imposed on taxpayers.  The following facts were established conclusively:
 
·       We do not have access to any Syrian government database to learn the backgrounds of these refugee applicants.
·       We do not have adequate resources or records and will not conduct any meaningful investigation of each of the thousands of applicants.
·       The administration approves over 90 percent of all Syrian refugee applications.
·       We have no capacity to determine the likelihood that Islamist refugees, once admitted to the United States, will become involved with terrorist activity.
·       We are already struggling with a huge problem of prior Islamist refugees seeking to take up arms with terrorists, and we have every expectation that the Administration’s current refugee plans will exacerbate that problem.
·       It is not a probability, but a certainty, that among the more than 1 million migrants from Muslim countries we will admit over the next decade, a number will already be radicalized or radicalize after their entrance into the U.S.
·       With respect to cost, the $1.2 billion budget for refugee placement is only a minute fraction of the total expense, and does not attempt to measure the short-term or long-term costs of providing access to virtually all welfare, healthcare, and retirement programs in the U.S. budget, as well as community resources such as public education and local hospitals.
·       Robert Rector, with the Heritage Foundation, estimates the lifetime cost of benefits at $6.5 billion per 10,000 refugees.  In the most recent year, the Office of Refugee Resettlement provided services to some 140,000 newly-admitted refugees, asylees, and related groups.
 
The United States has let in 59 million immigrants since 1965, and is on pace to break all historical records within a few years.  We now face the enormous challenge of helping millions of our existing residents – prior immigrants, refugees, and the US-born – rise out of poverty.  Our first duty is always to those already living here.  The responsible and compassionate course for the United States is to help assist in the placement of refugees as close to their homes as possible.  Encouraging millions to abandon their homes in the Middle East only further destabilizes the region, while imposing enormous costs on an American public that is struggling with low pay, rising crime, high deficits, and overstretched community resources.”
 
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. Visit Sessions online at his website or via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Note: Please do not reply to this email. For further information, contact Sen. Sessions’ Press Office at (202) 224-4124.

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