Senators Cruz and Sessions let loose in yesterday’s Senate hearing on FY17 refugee plan
Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 29, 2016
Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, grilled three members of the Obama Administration on the plan to admit 110,000 refugees to the US in the next fiscal year which begins on Saturday (Oct. 1).
This is a required hearing under the Refugee Act of 1980 and we will be looking for the House hearing (where are your Reps Goodlatte and Gowdy?).
Many issues were raised, but naturally the one that brought out the most angry exchanges involved the vetting process.
Leo Hohmann, of World Net Daily, watched and summarized those key points in his lengthy report, here.
This is how he begins:
President Obama’s top official responsible for vetting refugees testified before the Senate Wednesday that it’s possible for people from Syria and other terrorist-infested countries to have their refugee applications approved based simply on personal interviews with a “highly trained” immigration officer.
Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, could not deny that in many cases there is no data from the refugee’s home country that would corroborate or refute his story. He tried to reassure the committee by saying the screening process is lengthy and continuously being improved, noting that the United Nations pre-screens the refugees before his office even sees them.
Under questioning from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rodriguez at first avoided giving a direct answer on whether it was possible to gain admission as a refugee based solely on an interview. That infuriated Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who chairs the subcommittee on immigration and the national interest. His subcommittee conducted the hearing Wednesday on Obama’s refugee plans for fiscal year 2017, which begins Saturday, Oct. 1.
Obama plans to bring 110,000 refugees to the United States in 2017, up from 85,000 in 2016 and 70,000 in 2015.
The administration has exceeded its 2016 target on Syrian refugees by 30 percent, resettling 12,500 in dozens of U.S. cities and towns, rather than the 10,000 it had promised the U.N.
At Wednesday’s hearing, administration officials refused to say how many refugees they intend to bring in from Syria in fiscal 2017, only that it would likely exceed the 12,500 brought this year. (See my post on that portion of hearing, here.)
Nor did they say how many would come from Somalia, Iraq, Burma, Afghanistan and other hotbeds of Sunni radicalism.
When the subject turned to the process of “vetting” the refugees, sparks began to fly.
Continue reading and see embedded clips (sparks flying) from the hearing.