Two prominent GOP members of Congress charged Sunday that Secretary of State John Kerry announced the U.S. would accept an additional 10,000 refugees without consulting Congress, as mandated by law, and that the plan will put security at risk because it relies solely on a "trust me" approach.
Kerry announced the administration's refugee plans Sunday after he had initially told the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees of the Obama administration's plan to accept 75,000 worldwide refugees. Kerry's Sunday announcement in Berlin adds an additional 10,000 to what Kerry had told Congress, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Sunday.
"ISIS and other terrorist groups have made it abundantly clear that they will use the refugee crisis to try to enter the United States," the two wrote in a statement. "Now, the Obama administration wants to bring in an additional 10,000 Syrians without a concrete and foolproof plan to ensure that terrorists won't be able to enter the country."
"The administration has essentially given the American people a 'trust me.' That isn't good enough," wrote Goodlatte and Grassley.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, warned last Sunday that the United States does not have the intelligence to properly vet Syrian refugees and that he believes the Islamic State will use and "exploit the refugee crisis to infiltrate the west."
The Obama administration plans to increase the number of refugees from 85,000 next year to 100,000 in 2017. In a recent statement, the White House made a commitment to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year.
Kerry's statement Sunday came while meeting with leaders in Germany to discuss the refugee crisis European leaders have struggled to deal with. The influx of refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East, most notably the Syrian civil war, has been called the worst since World War II. Kerry also met with a group of Syrian refugees in Berlin.