Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), said he has been told by intelligence officials that ISIS has already targeted the refugee program as a way to enter the U.S. This news comes as Congress is set to vote this week on the omnibus spending bill, which could include funding to increase the number of refugees brought into the U.S.
Since the Paris terrorist attacks the refugee resettlement program has been under scrutiny for it ability to properly vet incoming refugees. The FBI Director has admitted that the U.S. cannot conduct thorough background checks on Syrian refugees.
During his speech at the National Defense University, Rep. McCaul said that according to sources from the intelligence community, “individuals tied to terrorist groups in Syria have already attempted to gain access to our country through the U. S. refugee program.”
“I believe the state of our homeland is increasingly not secure,” he continued.
Despite these national security concerns an omnibus spending bill would fund the expansion of the refugee resettlement program according to Sen. Jeff Session (R-Ala.).
"As currently written, this year's appropriations bills – which will be combined into a catch-all 'omnibus' by December 11th – amount to a blank check for the president to carry out his refugee resettlement plans,” Sen. Sessions wrote in a statement last week.
The Obama administration plans on raising the number of refugees accepted into the U.S. each year from 70,000 to 85,000 next year and then increase it to 100,000 by 2017.
Once a refugee arrives in the U.S. they are immediately eligible for welfare benefits or welfare benefits including food stamps, free healthcare, and cash welfare.
Congress has until Dec. 11th to pass a spending bill for the 2016 fiscal year in order to avoid a government shutdown.
Read more on this story at The Hill.
Updated: Mon, Dec 21st 2015 @ 4:15pm EST