Now that two ISIS operatives who entered the U.S. as Iraqi refugees have been arrested on terror-related charges, the heat is sure to get turned up in the debate over the “vetting” of Muslim refugees and whether it is even possible to screen them for terrorist ties.
The two alleged terrorists were arrested Thursday, one in Sacramento and the other in Houston. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the arrests “may have prevented a catastrophic terror-related event in the making and saved countless lives,” CBS News reported.
Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said the arrests “are precisely why I called for a halt to refugees entering the U.S. from countries substantially controlled by terrorists.” He said the refugee inflow from these countries should end “until there is an effective vetting process that will ensure refugees do not compromise the safety of Americans and Texans.”
But the fact is that no amount of “vetting” would have stopped one of the two terrorists from entering the country. The refugee arrested in Houston, Omar Faraj Al Harden, was “radicalied” after he arrived in the U.S. as a teenager in 2009, authorities said.
Rep. Brian Babin — one of most outspoken critics of the refugee resettlement program and author of a bill that would shut the program down pending a full audit — represents parts of the Houston area where Al Harden lived.
Babin introduced his bill, the Refugee Resettlement Accountability National Security Act, more than five months ago, at a time when few in Congress were interested in the refugee issue.
“That (Houston area) is my district,” Babin told WND in a phone interview Saturday. “I dropped that bill July 30 and quite frankly I was a voice in the wilderness because nobody was talking about it. Then all of a sudden we have the Paris attacks and then San Bernardine. That was just proof in the pudding that what we were suspicious of has been absolutely true and if there were any doubts then these arrests prove the point that we have a problem with this refugee program.”
Ryan offers full funding of Obama refugee program
The debate over vetting Syrian refugees raged in Congress following the Paris attacks but, in the end, Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership decided to fully fund President Obama’s expanded refugee resettlement program. That program will allow the United Nations to select 85,000 refugees that the Obama administration will then distribute into more than 180 U.S. cities and towns during the current fiscal year.
And Obama plans to ramp up the program further in 2017 with 100,000 refugees bound for U.S. cities. The president has said there should never be a ‘religious test’ for those seeking refuge in America and tried to marginalize the pushback against his plans as xenophobia from people “afraid of widows and orphans.”
But roughly half of the nearly 200,000 refugees entering the U.S. over the next…