By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, November 17 U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R) gave a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate demanding that President Obama’s plan to resettle Syrian refugees inside the American homeland be blocked by Congress.
Sen. Shelby said that, “The terrorist attacks that rocked the city of Paris and the entire world on Friday were horrific and unthinkable. The people of France stood by our side after the horrendous events of September 11, 2001, and the American people will stand by them during this tragic time. “Cowardly and barbaric acts of violence against innocent civilians absolutely should not be tolerated anywhere in our society, and we must take any and all steps available to prevent a similar attack from occurring right here in the United States.”
Sen. Shelby said that, “Early reports from the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday indicate that the refugee programs in Europe allowed at least one of the attackers to enter France. In light of these reports, the United States should take notice. We are now faced with an opportunity to make a common sense, responsible decision that would put Americans at ease and put an end to the risk of radical Islamic terrorists infiltrating our nation through the refugee resettlement program.”
The senior Senator from Alabama said, “We simply cannot trust this Administration to put in place the rigorous vetting system needed to ensure that the refugees who enter our nation will not be future threats to our homeland. It is, without a doubt, in the best interest of the American people and our national security to immediately halt any plans to allow Syrian refugees to resettle in the United States. We live in an increasingly dangerous world and the Obama Administration’s lack of leadership on foreign policy has only exacerbated the problem. We cannot continue to let President Obama’s ill-conceived policies put Americans at risk. This Administration is either asleep or out of touch with the danger lurking in this world.”
Shelby said, “It is time to put an end to any plans to relocate Syrian refugees to this nation. That is why I will work tirelessly with my colleagues in the Senate to reverse President Obama’s extremely dangerous position that threatens the American people and our homeland.”
Sen. Shelby also joined with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R from Alabama) in a joint declaration urging their congressional colleagues to prevent President Obama from being able to resettle thousands of refugees from war torn Syria without Congressional consent by attaching language to any omnibus spending bills barring the administration from using money for that purpose.
Senator Shelby said in a statement, “Today I sent a joint release with Jeff Sessions urging the inclusion of a provision in any omnibus spending bill that makes it absolutely clear that no refugee resettlement will take place without a separate, affirmative Congressional vote to authorize any resettlement and offset its huge costs.”
Sen. Shelby continued, “Our immigration and refugee policies must serve the interests of our nation and protect the security of the American people. It simply cannot be our policy to encourage a mass migration of entire populations from their homelands, a strategy that will only further destabilize the region and bring threats of terrorism deep inside our shores.”
Senators Shelby and Sessions in a joint statement said that the Congress must use appropriations to revoke the ‘Blank Check’ For Obama’s controversial refugee plans. “Absent such restrictions, the omnibus spending bill will give the President all the funds he needs to carry out the resettlement of nearly 100,000 refugees this year alone. First and foremost, this is a question of appropriations.”
The two Alabama Senators wrote, “As Chairmen of Subcommittees on both the Appropriations and Judiciary Committees, we believe it is essential that any government funding bill cancel the President’s blank check for refugee resettlement. Long before the barbaric attacks in Paris, government officials and investigators have stated that we do not have the capacity to effectively screen Syrian refugees. The bloody assaults on the streets of France add new urgency to an already dangerous situation. Right now, our refugee program – like all of our visa programs – runs on autopilot. Each year, millions of visas go out the door without any input or action from Congress. We would not accept this policy for the federal budget, and we should not accept it for immigration. We therefore urge the inclusion of a provision in any omnibus spending bill that makes it absolutely clear that no refugee resettlement will take place without a separate, affirmative Congressional vote to authorize any resettlement and offset its huge costs.”
Senator Richard Shelby is the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Jeff Sessions chairs the Judiciary Subcommittees on Immigration and the National Interest.
The two Alabama Senators wrote: “In order to carry out his plans, the President needs the annual appropriation for the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and other budget items. Congress therefore, through its spending power, can block the President’s plans. Absent such restrictions, the omnibus spending bill will give the President all the funds he needs to carry out the resettlement of nearly 100,000 refugees this year alone. First and foremost, this is a question of appropriations. Under our nation’s current policy, the President simply brings in as many refugees as he wants. Refugees are entitled to access all major welfare programs, and they can also draw benefits directly from the Medicare and Social Security disability and retirement trust funds – taking those funds straight from the pockets of American retirees who paid into these troubled funds all of their lives.”
Senators Shelby and Sessions continued, “Our immigration and refugee policies must serve the interests of our nation and protect the security of the American people. After admitting 1.5 million migrants from Muslim countries on lifetime visas since 9/11, it is time to assist in relocating Muslim migrants within their home region rather than relocating large numbers to the United States. It simply cannot be our policy to encourage a mass migration of entire populations from their homelands, a strategy that will only further destabilize the region and bring threats of terrorism deep inside our shores.”
Senator Richard Shelby is Alabama’s senior Senator and was first elected to the Senate in 1986.