WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A Florida congressman is calling on President Barack Obama to impose a moratorium on accepting Syrian refugees into the United States following Friday’s terror attacks in Paris.
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., said in a letter to the president that the lives of Americans cannot be risked on an “imperfect refugee screening process.”
“Instead, I urge you to work with world leaders to create a safe zone for refugees inside Syria or in a neighboring country. The United States should be a part of this humanitarian effort, but not its main financier,” Buchanan wrote.
Millions of Syrians have fled to neighboring Middle Eastern countries and Europe, and President Barack Obama’s administration has pledged to accept about 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next 12 months. The U.S. State Department said the refugees would be spread across the country.
Buchanan touched on the report that one of the suicide bombers was among the thousands of refugees who came through Greece. The attacker had a Syrian passport and the Paris prosecutors’ office says fingerprints from the attacker match those of someone who passed through Greece in October.
“It is clear that radical Islam is waging war against America and Western civilization. We cannot allow terrorists to seep through a porous refugee screening process to kill Americans,” Buchanan said.
Several Republican governors have announced that they will not be accepting Syrian refugees into their states.
During a news conference at the G20 summit in Turkey, Obama said the U.S. will still take in Syrian refugees “only after subjecting them to rigorous screening and security checks.”
He then hit back at Republican presidential candidates who have said the U.S. should only allow Syrian Christians to enter.
“That’s shameful,” Obama said. “That’s not American. That’s not who we are.”
The terror attacks in Paris on Friday left 129 dead, and 350 others wounded.
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