A House GOP member from Montana who has sought to challenge the settlement of unvetted Afghanistan refugees in his state is leading legislation to bring the authority of immigration back to Congress, which he said has been usurped by the Biden administration.
The Secure America Act written by Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., seeks to give Congress the sole authority on raising the yearly refugee limit, give state governors the authority to reject federal refugees, strengthen vetting protocols before refugees arrive, and stop the Department of Homeland Security from abusing parole for illegals that ostensibly serves a catch-and-release policy that can grant a temporary work permit.
"We have experienced an overwhelming number of unvetted aliens from one hundred and twenty-three nations entering our country with the absence of a proper vetting process," Rosendale wrote in a statement to announce the bill. "That is a recipe for disaster. We need to know if these people are likely to assimilate and contribute to our country. This legislation would put the proper parameters in place to ensure we do just that."
Rosendale had already objected to the forced settlement of Afghanistan refugees, potentially unvetted, in his state last month.
"The Biden administration's botched Afghanistan withdrawal is no excuse for allowing thousands of unvetted alien nationals to pour into our country," Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, wrote in a statement backing the bill. "It is essential Congress reasserts its authority over our immigration system and proper safeguards are put into place. I'm proud to co-sponsor the Secure Act to do just that."
Another co-sponsor, Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., said state and local officials should have "a seat at the table" when it comes to immigration policy.
"As tens of thousands of foreign nationals continue to be admitted and resettled across the United States, we must give affected communities a seat at the table, and make sure that we are properly screening people before, not after, they arrive here," Tiffany wrote in a statement. "In recent months we've seen vetting procedures that previously took months or even years hastily conducted by the Biden administration in just days or hours. The Secure America Act will make necessary reforms that put America's safety first."
Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., added a warning from the violence being committed by refugees on military bases after being resettled.
"The Biden administration abandoned an untold number of American citizens behind enemy lines and yet had no problem expediting unvetted Afghans with ties to terrorism," Steube's statement read. "Now, Afghans that the Biden administration has admitted into our country are committing violent crimes on our military bases. This bill will protect America's security, unlike the Biden administration's reckless open border policies."
Reps. Bill Posey, R-Fla., Clay Higgins, R-La., and Fred Keller, R-Pa., are also co-sponsors signing on to the bill.
"Our bill restores congressional authority over refugee admissions, ensures proper vetting, and ends the Biden administration's abuse of parole to release vast numbers of illegal aliens into the U.S. interior," Higgins' statement read. "I am proud to be a co-sponsor, and I thank Rep. Rosendale for his leadership on this legislation."
The bill also has support from Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein.
"Rep. Rosendale’s Secure America Act makes desperately needed changes to our broken refugee and parole systems," his statement read. "The Biden administration has made clear that they will use every tool in their arsenal to shield illegal aliens from removal – including blanket parole. Rep. Rosendale's bill would end the misguided use of administrative parole to grant thousands of illegal aliens a pathway to citizenship. FAIR supports this bill as a crucial step needed in the fight to restore integrity to our immigration system."
State sovereignty deserves a voice in the immigration reform debate, John A. Zadrozny, Director for the Center for Homeland Security and Immigration, America First Policy Institute (AFPI) added.
"The America First Policy Institute supports Rep. Matt Rosendale's efforts to reassert congressional authority over refugee resettlement in the United States, respect state sovereignty in the refugee resettlement process, and require executive branch officials to prioritize the safety and security of American citizens," Zadrozny wrote in a statement.
"America can continue to be at the forefront of humanitarian relief for persecuted populations around the world while also ensuring that Americans are safe at home."
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