The U.S. Congress has successfully passed legislation that would suspend President Obama’s plan to allow 10,000 more refugees into the United States, according to Reuters. Some elected officials, both Republican and Democrat, have voiced growing concerns with allowing Syrians into states and cities.
The new legislation is reported to require that high level government officials, including the director of the FBI, the national intelligence director and the secretary of homeland security, verify that each and every Syrian refugee entering the United States poses no security risk. The new legislation is described as putting a “pause” on Obama’s 10,000 refugee plan for one year.
President Obama is reportedly set to veto the legislation and has decried what he calls a “spasm of rhetoric” toward refugees.
In what is being variously reported as eight refugees from Syria being “caught” and turning “themselves in,” by Breitbart and CBS, respectively, a group, which is said to include two families, has been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after coming to the attention of officials at a border crossing in Laredo, Texas.
The Department of Homeland Security reportedly described that the families consisted of a man and woman, and two children each. No further information was available, with privacy concerns being cited.
It is not uncommon for refugees from Syria and other places of conflict, to first travel to Mexico and then attempt to enter the United States, according to the Guardian. The problem facing this group of refugees is that they happened to arrive shortly after Paris was attacked by ISIS.
“The two men from these families are being held at the South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall, Texas,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement. “Due to privacy issues, no additional information will be provided at this time.”
A host of elected U.S. officials, from mayors to governors, have raised red flags with regard to President Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 more Syrian refugees to the United States, as reported by USA Today. New Republican-backed legislation was passed in U.S. Congress today, suspending Obama’s plan.
Roanoke Mayor David Bowers, a Democrat, has reportedly voiced support for the suspension of Roanoke accepting Syrian refugees, in light of the Paris attacks, and justified his position with the U.S. internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II.
“I’m reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor,” Mayor David Bowers wrote, comparing the recent terrorist attacks with the events that brought the United States into the second world war.
Breitbart, who also reports that a Syrian refugee was caught trying to enter the United States in September using a passport that belonged to “someone else,” states that two anonymous agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection described the most recent group detained in Laredo as “eight Syrian illegal aliens attempted to enter Texas from Mexico.”
A much different account of the events leading to the detainment of the eight Syrian refugees in Laredo was offered by Slate. The magazine quoted a Department of Homeland Security representative who described the group as turning themselves in.
“On Tuesday, members of two Syrian families, two men, two women and four children, presented themselves at a port of entry in Laredo. They were taken into custody by CBP and turned over to ICE for further processing.”
Slate points out that, in their view, the refugees were not trying to enter the United States illegally. The magazine further points out that no wall would have been helpful in stopping them and that the families were not attempting to evade authorities.
[Feature Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]