Friday, November 20, 2015

Syrian refugees and my appearance on CNN Sunday

Yesterday I voted for the SAFE Act, which passed the House of Representatives on an overwhelming bipartisan vote. The bill would suspend President Obama's program to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States until much stronger security standards are adopted for vetting the refugees.

One of the main problems in vetting these refugees is that we often don't have any information about them in our databases. FBI Director James Comey has acknowledged these security gaps. He told Congress that "the challenge we're all talking about is that we can only query against that which we have collected. And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing [to] show up because we have no record on that person."

ISIS operatives openly proclaim that they are smuggling terrorists into the West amid the current wave of refugees. In ISIS videos, the group explicitly vows to attack the United States. Under these circumstances, I don't believe we can risk taking in thousands of Syrian refugees for whom our security agencies "have no record." The Paris terror assault shows that ISIS is ruthless, dedicated, effective, and treacherous in attacking the West. Our response requires fierce vigilance.  

I'll be discussing these issues and other topics on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday in the 6:00 am hour PST. The show will rebroadcast at 9:00 am PST. If you missed my interview on Fox News' Special Report this week, you can watch it at this link.