Tags: Syria | War on Terrorism | michael mccaul | syrian refugee | crisis | bill | well-balanced

Rep. McCaul: Syrian Refugee Bill Will Give Americans Security

(MSNBC/"Andrea Mitchell Reports")

By    |   Thursday, 19 Nov 2015 02:55 PM

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said Thursday that his bill requiring more thorough background checks for Syrian refugees is a "well-balanced" measure that will give the American people the security they want and deserve.

"This is simply putting a pause on the Syrian refugee program until we can be assured by the FBI director, who has already testified about his concerns about the vetting process," the Texas Republican told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on her noon program.

"Also, we require certification by the secretary of Homeland Security, FBI director and director of National Intelligence. I think this is a very measured, well-balanced bill."

However, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has complained about the measure, saying Thursday that he believes it is "not a good bill and is counterproductive to our national security and homeland security efforts," reported Mitchell.

"All we expect is that the FBI conduct background checks on these individuals," McCaul replied. "If they are women and children, obviously they would pass that background check, but I don't think that's a whole lot to ask.

"The American people, I think, want and deserve that. I have tremendous respect for Secretary Johnson, but I talked to a lot of Democrats on the floor and they were not persuaded by his presentation at the conference."

The refugee issue isn't only about any population, but about people from Raqqa, the Syrian headquarters for ISIS, said McCaul.

"What happened in Paris, this is an emergency piece of legislation in response to what happened in Paris," he said. "I personally think we are doing the responsible thing and what the American people want."

Finally, McCaul said he is concerned after ISIS released a video on Tuesday threatening attacks on New York City, but he is always concerned about New York.

"I travel to New York periodically to check with the NYPD and the FBI, state and locals. New York, Washington, D.C.," said McCaul. "They are crying out for attacks right now in these two cities. These are the two biggest targets in the United States and I think our sense of security has been heightened."

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House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said Thursday that his bill requiring more thorough background checks for Syrian refugees is a "well-balanced" measure that will give the American people the security they want and deserve.
michael mccaul, syrian refugee, crisis, bill, well-balanced
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2015-55-19
Thursday, 19 Nov 2015 02:55 PM
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