Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley made the following statement after a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry and Anne Richard, Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration. The consultation regarding the number of refugees that the United States will admit into the country is required by law. In the event of an “emergency refugee situation” the administration may admit an additional number of refugees, but only after additional consultation with Congress.
“Secretary Kerry initially said that the Obama administration is seeking a reasonable increase in refugees allowed into the United States in the upcoming fiscal year. But when pressed, the administration indicated that they were considering opening the floodgates and using emergency authority to go above what they proposed to Congress in today’s consultation. The administration also has not ruled out potentially paroling thousands of Syrians into the United States.
“The United States welcomes more refugees than the rest of the world’s countries combined, and there’s no question that we need to continue to do our part to help with the crisis that is unfolding in the Middle East and Europe. But, the administration also needs to enlist the help of other capable, affluent nations in the Middle East to deal with the crisis in Syria to care for those who are fleeing violence and persecution.
“In addition, before agreeing to accept tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, the Obama administration must prove to the American people that it will take the necessary precautions to ensure that national security is a top priority, especially at a time when ruthless terrorist groups like ISIS are committed to finding ways to enter the United States and harm Americans.”