Smith: Refugee program is being exploited by terrorists

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) called reports of two Iraqi refugees being arrested recently for aiding terrorist organizations “disturbing, though not surprising,” adding that the refugee system is being exploited.

Iraqi refugees in Texas and California were reportedly arrested last week for actions aiding terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State.

“These groups have been open about their intentions to infiltrate the tens of thousands of Middle East refugees this administration is determined to bring to our shores,” Smith said. “Even worse, this president’s response to acts of terror like the San Bernardino shooting is to punish law-abiding Americans and endorse gun control measures. It is time to stop treating terrorists like citizens and citizens like terrorists. This president’s unwillingness to confront the real security threats we face is nothing short of dangerous. This week’s arrests in Houston and California are more reasons we should temporarily halt all admission and resettlement of refugees until we can verify that every single ‘gap’ in our security screening has been addressed. This is also why I support the right of governors, like Governor Abbott, to protect citizens by refusing to allow the federal government to resettle refugees in states like Texas.”

Smith joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) in December in introducing the State Refugee Security Act of 2015 to protect the right of states to decline to participate in the federal refugee resettlement program.

In addition, Smith joined Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Lou Barletta (R-PA) and Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) in introducing legislation aimed at halting and defunding all refugee admissions and resettlements until Congress receives reports on the safety, costs and history of terrorism among refugees. It also would require Congress to pass a joint resolution to restart the program.

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