US Congress questions plan to admit Syrian refugees

January 30, 2015 01:17

The Republican-led House Committee on Homeland Security is challenging an Obama administration plan to admit Syrian refugees to the United States, saying it could allow potential terrorists to sneak into the country.

In a letter sent to the White House, Michael McCaul, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee and Peter King and Candice Miller, who chair subcommittees, said the administration's plan "raises serious national security concerns."

The letter, dated Wednesday, said the United States lacks the resources to fully investigate the backgrounds of refugees from Syria, a base for Islamic State militants, before they are admitted to the country.

Anne Richard, an Assistant Secretary of State, said on Dec. 9 that the United States resettled nearly 70,000 refugees from nearly 70 countries in 2013 and that the administration's refugee plans would lead to "resettling Syrians as well."

Richard said the United States was already reviewing around 9,000 Syrian refugee cases referred by a United Nations agency and was receiving "roughly a thousand new ones each month."

Ned Price, a National Security Council spokesman, said all refugees including those from Syria would be rigorously screened.

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