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VIDEO: Obama Administration Official Admits to Allowing Refugees in to U.S. Based on Their Testimony Alone

Cruz questions administration officials on refugee program at Judiciary Committee hearing

September 28, 2016

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), in today’s Judiciary immigration subcommittee hearing, highlighted serious problems with the Obama administration’s refugee resettlement efforts, including the federal government’s inadequate refugee vetting process. While questioning State Department Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Simon Henshaw, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Director León Rodríguez, and Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Carey, Sen. Cruz specifically noted that the administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism has prevented Christian refugees from the Middle East from escaping the genocide of ISIS and has also seriously undermined counterterrorism efforts in the United States. 

Moreover, during an exchange with Sen. Cruz, Director Rodríguez acknowledged publicly that refugee applications can be approved based solely on the applicant’s testimony, without any documentation.

Sen. Cruz: Is it true or false that the testimony of the applicant alone can be sufficient for approval? 

Director Rodríguez: There are cases where the testimony is not necessarily corroborated by documents…I am acknowledging that, yes, testimony can be the basis for the grant of a refugee…

Watch Sen. Cruz’s full opening remarks and first line of questioning, where Director Rodríguez admits that refugee applications can be approved based on testimony alone, here. Sen. Cruz’s second line of questioning can be viewed here. Below is the full transcript of Sen. Cruz’s opening remarks:

“America has long shown an incredible generosity of spirit welcoming refugees and offering them safe haven. Indeed, I am the son of a refugee who fled prison and torture in Cuba and came to America seeking freedom. But our immigration laws are not a suicide pact. The refugee program should not become a vehicle for terrorists to come murder innocent Americans. 

“I and, I think, a great many Americans are deeply concerned by the willful blindness of this administration to the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. That was characterized powerfully just a few minutes ago when our Democratic colleague Senator Al Franken said we should not even ask refugees if they are Muslims. If one is trying to prevent radical Islamic terrorists from coming in, the suggestion from my Democratic colleague that we shouldn’t even ask, to me, is nuts.

“As we look at what is happening in Syria and what is happening in the Middle East, ISIS is evil. They are waging a war of genocide against Christians. They are murdering Jews. They are murdering fellow Muslims, and yet, the refugee program as administered by this administration seems to have an enormous preference for Syrian Muslim refugees and seems to actively keep out Syrian Christian refugees.

“In 2014, the Obama administration admitted 249 refugees from Syria, 224 of those, 89.9 percent, were Muslim, only 13 were Christian – 5.2 percent. In 2015, the Obama administration admitted 2,192 refugees from Syria; 2,149 were Muslim – that’s 98 percent – and only 29, 1.3 percent, were Christian. In 2016 to date, the Obama administration has admitted 11,717 refugees from Syria, of those 11,624 were Muslim – that’s 99.2 percent – and 49 were Christian – that’s 0.41 percent. All told since 2011, 14,267 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the United States and more than 14,000 of them were Muslim. Fewer than 100 were Christian.

“Now, those numbers are not even close to the proportional population in Syria. Ten percent of the pre-war population in Syria was Christian, and yet, 0.68 percent of the refugees being admitted by the administration are Christian.”

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