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Shelby Says Omnibus Gives President “Blank Check” to Resettle Syrian Refugees in America

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, December 16, US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) released a statement warning that the omnibus bill gives President Obama a blank check to continue resettling Syrian refugees in Alabama and other states.

Senator Shelby wrote, “While I support the inclusion of several conservative priorities and key provisions critical to Alabama in this year’s omnibus bill, I oppose the overall bill because it gives a blank check to President Obama to continue his dangerous Syrian refugee resettlement plan.  During this increasingly uncertain time in our nation, we simply cannot allow the President – who is more focused on gun control and climate change than national security – to unilaterally determine who can enter our country.”

Sen. Shelby continued, “This omnibus bill puts the United States on a path towards admitting an unknown number of potentially dangerous migrants who we cannot properly vet.  President Obama’s lack of strategy on how to combat ISIS coupled with his failure to secure our borders underscores the critical need for Congress to stop him in his tracks.  Unfortunately, this bill fails to halt the President’s reckless proposals and prioritize the safety of the American people.”

Texas Senator and GOP Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz (R) said in a statement, “We are today at a time of war. We’ve seen the attacks in Paris. We’ve seen the attack in San Bernardino. ISIS and radical Islamic terrorists have declared war on America, even if President Obama refuses to admit it.”

New Jersey Governor and Presidential candidate Chris Christie (R) said of the omnibus, “It seems contrary to everything we stand for as Republicans. We have law enforcement, the head law enforcement person in this country, in Jim Comey, saying that you cannot vet these refugees, that you cannot do it. We saw San Bernadino become attacked from people who are radicalized Islamic jihadists. We should not be doing this. And quite frankly, what they should be putting on this bill, is the restoration of the NSA metadata program, so that we can give law enforcement and our intelligence community all the tools they need over the holiday to keep us safe. It should be reinstated immediately. If they’re looking for something that’ll unify all Republicans, it’ll unify almost all the Republicans, except for probably Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), behind the idea that we need to be able to collect this data, and keep America safe.  But, the idea that we’re funding  the President’s refugee program?  That’s a capitulation.”

Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions have both opposed resettling thousands of refugees from the Syrian Civil War in the United States.

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Sen. Sessions said, “The omnibus approves – without conditions – the President’s request for increased refugee admissions, allowing him to bring in as many refugees as he wants, from anywhere he wants, and then allow them to access unlimited amounts of welfare and entitlements at taxpayer expense.  This will ensure that at least 170,000 a green card, refugee and asylum approvals are issued to migrants from Muslim countries over just the next 12 months.”

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) has said that he does not want Syrian refugees settled in Alabama.  To this point the Obama administration has scoffed at its critics and has resisted calls from dozens of the Governors begging the Administration not to do this.

Senator Richard Shelby has represented Alabama in the Senate since his election in 1986.  Shelby has qualified to run for a six term next year.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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