Date
20 January 2017
Some countries are hesitant about taking Syrian refugees after the deadly attacks in Paris last weekend by Islamic State. Photo: AFP
Some countries are hesitant about taking Syrian refugees after the deadly attacks in Paris last weekend by Islamic State. Photo: AFP

Lawmakers trying to block Obama plan to accept Syrian refugees

Some US Republicans are trying to use a must-pass spending bill to block President Barack Obama’s plan to accept thousands of Syrian refugees.

The lawmakers say the Paris attacks had proven they pose too much of a threat to the United States, Reuters reported.

Republican congressman Brian Babin circulated a letter asking that lawmakers include a provision in the spending bill to defund the plan to admit 10,000 Syrians this year.

“The terrorist attack in Paris by militant Islamists is a loud clanging alarm bell to Congress and the American people warning us why we must block Obama’s reckless and foolish plan,” Babin said.

By Monday, 14 members of the House of Representatives, all Republicans, had signed the letter.

More than a dozen state governors, almost all Republicans, have refused to allow Syrian refugees into their states.

Obama reiterated his commitment to accepting the 10,000 on Monday.

It was not clear that a provision barring Syrians would be legal. The Immigration Act of 1965 abolished national origin quotas, such as measures that once barred most immigrants from Asia.

Meanwhile, a plan by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year, one of the newly elected leader’s campaign promises, appeared in jeopardy.

Some provincial and municipal leaders said the timeline does not allow for enough security checks and is logistically impossible.

The premier of the western province of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall, asked Trudeau to suspend the plan in light of the Paris attacks and the chance of admitting operatives trained by Islamic State.

“If even a small number of individuals who wish to do harm to our country are able to enter Canada as a result of a rushed refugee resettlement process, the results could be devastating,” Wall said in a letter to the prime minister.

– Contact us at [email protected]

FL

 

EJI Weekly Newsletter