The White House’s plan to accept Syrian refugees — up to 10,000, according to reports — is drawing fresh scrutiny following the terrorist attacks in Paris that have left 132 dead.
The report of scrutiny of the White House Syrian refugee plan was first reported by The Hill, which quoted a variety of political sources as saying the plan should be reviewed heavily before moving forward.
According to The Hill, top lawmakers in the Republican Party are calling for a halt to the White House Syrian refugee plan. CNN has reported at least one of the suicide bombers at the Paris soccer stadium had been in the group of Syrian refugees who made their way through Europe before arriving in Paris to carry out the terror attacks.
Marco Rubio, a Florida senator running for the Republican nomination for president, told ABC News this morning that the United States “won’t be able to take more refugees.”
“It’s not that we don’t want to — it’s that we can’t. Because there’s no way to background check someone that’s coming from Syria,” he said, according to The Hill. “You can’t pick up the phone and call Syria.”
In a report, CBS News quoted presidential candidate Donald Trump as saying, “Our president wants to take in 250,000 from Syria. I mean, think of it. Two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand people. And we all have heart. And we all want people taken care of and all of that. But with the problems our country has, to take in 250,000 people — some of whom are going to have problems, big problems.”
CNN reports more than 4 million men, women, and children have fled the civil war in Syria. CNN highlights the difficulty facing nations like Germany, France, and other countries who have accepted Syrian refugees, many expediting the process.
“The other side believes letting in Syrian war refugees will put host countries at greater risk for terrorist attacks,” reporters Christiane Amanpour and Thom Patterson wrote. “Vetting every incoming refugee would require huge resources. It likely would slow down a widening river of refugees that has already posed logistical problems in many nations. Just look how slowly the European Union is moving on its promise to relocate refugees: As of a few days ago, the EU had only relocated 147 of 160,000.”
So far, The Hill reports the United States has only accepted roughly 2,000 Syrian refugees, only 20 percent of the total number the White House has committed to accept. In Saturday’s Democratic presidential debate hosted by CBS News, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would actually like to accept as many as 65,000 Syrian refugees. The statement came just more than 24 hours after the Paris terrorist attacks across six sites in the French capitol.
Not only are presidential candidates wading into the discussion of the White House’s Syrian refugee plan, members of the House and Senate have also discussed the situation, with Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, telling NBC’s Meet the Press about “gaping holes” in America’s ability to vet refugees before they enter the country.
He also noted the large number of Americans who have traveled to Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East to join the ISIS fighters.
“We have hundreds of Americans that have traveled (to ISIS-controlled areas),” he said. “Many of them have come back as well. I think that’s a direct threat.”
As for how to deal with the threat posed from ISIS to France, Europe, and the United States, CBS News reports Republican presidential candidate and businesswoman Carly Fiorina said, “You cannot lead from behind.” She added her displeasure over the White House Syrian refugee plan and the United States’ inability to properly vet refugees entering the country.
[Featured Image by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images]