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Alabama lawmakers want Syrian refugee program halted

November 17, 2015
In The News

In the face of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, Alabama lawmakers are taking a stand against continued Syrian refugee immigration to the United States fearing a similar terrorist plot in the U.S.

Reports claim at least one of the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks had slipped into the country with refugees fleeing the chaos in Syria.

France has already shut its borders after terrorists killed at least 129 people on Friday, and several other countries in the European Union are reassessing their immigration protocols.

Meanwhile, a daily flow of refugees fleeing a civil war in Syria continues.

According to the United Nations, the civil war has displaced more than four million people since 2011 with refugees fleeing to neighboring Middle Eastern countries and Europe.

Since the war’s inception, the United States has taken in 2,187 of the refugees and President Barack Obama has announced plans to take in an additional 10,000 in the next 12 months. The U.S. State Department said the refugees would be spread across the country.

In the last calendar year, 1,928 Syrians relocated to the United States. While none settled in Alabama according to the Refugee Processing Center, 104 settled in Florida, 59 in Georgia and another 35 in Tennessee.

Here’s what Alabama lawmakers have to say about taking in additional Syrian refugees:

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01):

We have no greater responsibility as a federal government than to ensure the safety and security of the American people. It is clearly in the best interest of the American people to halt the Syrian refugeeresettlement program.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02):

As many as 10,000 Syrian refugees are reportedly about to start showing up in the United States in 2016 per President Obama’s directive. Are we really this naive? At least one of the Paris attackers came into that country via similar means, and ISIS has said they would actively try to game the refugee resettlement process to infiltrate western countries.

This is not about keeping Syrians out of our state or even our country. We all hate what these people are going through and want to help them how we can. But amid the direct security threat facing our country from radical Islamic terrorism, we simply cannot risk our security by allowing thousands of Syrian refugees to resettle here, especially without a robust screening and security process in place. That’s just common sense, and I fear our president is too blinded by his worldview to see it.

Returning to Washington this week I will be speaking out about this and getting answers on behalf of the people I represent.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-03):

I am very concerned about President Obama’s plan. Bringing any Syrian refugees to the United States could potentially put Americans and our homeland in serious danger. The Paris attacks suggest that ISIL is using the refugee situation as an opportunity to move around locations to spread terror. I am not willing to put compassion over our national security in this instance.

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04):

Reports in the media indicate that at least one of the bombers in France was a recently admitted refugee. I am very concerned about whether our Administration has plans to seriously vet this proposed increase of Syrian refugees to the U.S. I support Governor Bentley’s actions.We need to be helping persons like the Yazidis and the Assyrian Christians who have been targeted for murder by ISIS. This should not be a general economic exodus from the Middle East.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-05):

It’s quite clear that Barack Obama and the White House have absolutely no idea how to confront the Islamic State Junior Varsity team, as Barack Obama likes to call them. And that incompetence and ineptitude in the White House is risking American lives and has already cost untold thousands of lives around the planet.

If I were to sum up Barack Obama’s on the Syrian refugees, the word that comes to mind is masochism. But that’s not really fair to masochists because they only injure themselves. Barack Obama is surrounded by Secret Service, he’s protected. He’s not putting himself at risk, he’s putting Americans at risk.

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06):

The State Department needs to his the pause button on this before we admit any new Syrian refugees.  It is absolutely critical that we know who is coming in here.

I think we ought to encourage other Middle Eastern countries to take those refugees.  I think the assimilation process will be much easier.  I understand there are differences between the various sects in Islam, but they should step up and take a much bigger role in this.