Lawmakers in D.C. weigh in on refugee crisis

A coalition of U.S. House members are aligning themselves with GOP governors to call for a halt to a program expected to resettle some 10,000 Syrian refugees in the country.

The latest salvo came Wednesday, when 110 members of the U.S. House of Representatives – led by Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington – sent a letter to the White House urging President Barack Obama to immediately halt the admission of refugees from Syria and Iraq into the United States.

Their letter follows the news that some 27 governors – including Ohio Gov. John Kasich – have asked that no Syrian refugees be sent to their state.

“We urge you to immediately halt admissions of refugees from Syria and Iraq onto American soil,” the congressional letter reads. “We ask that these admissions remain suspended until your administration creates both a truly thorough vetting process to identify individuals who pose a security threat and an extensive monitoring process for all relocated refugees that ensures Americans are safe from potential threats.”

The letter asks also that all justifications for admitting a refugee be submitted to the House and Senate Judiciary, Intelligence and Homeland Security committees.

Reps. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati, Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnat, Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green and Dave Joyce, R-Russell Township are also among those to sign the lettnp

They’re responding in part to reports from the Paris terror attacks suggesting that at least one of the attackers entered Europe by posing as a Syrian refugee.

The House may vote as soon as Thursday on a bill aimed at pausing the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, meanwhile, in a conference call Wednesday, said he will be attending a briefing by various security agencies later today to talk about the current vetting process for Syrian refugees. He called for a response “based on facts and not fear.”

The Ohio Democrat said the United States will be threatened regardless of whether Syrian refugees admitted. Last week an Akron man was arrested for having links to ISIS and threatening U.S. military members.

“The authorities are always looking at any possible actions that any terrorists might take aimed at innicent American citizens,” Brown said.

 

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