President Obama is facing increased scrutiny for his plans to accept more Middle Eastern refugees following the arrest of two such refugees on terrorism related charges.
The two men, Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, who was apprehended in Sacramento, Calif. and Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, 24, who was nabbed in Houston, Texas, were both refugees from Iraq.
Republicans pounced on the news with renewed calls to halt the refugee programs, starting with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
“I once again urge the President to halt the resettlement of these refugees in the United States until there is an effective vetting process that will ensure refugees do not compromise the safety of Americans and Texans,” he said in a statement Thursday.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz said the government should reexamine refugees who are already in America who came from what he referred to as “high risk countries” during a campaign stop in Iowa.
“We need to systematically examine the national security threats,” he said.
Texas Republican and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul praised authorities for their work in capturing the terrorist threats but cautioned that they provide cause for concern about the current refugee program.
“While I commend the FBI for their hard work, these arrests heighten my concern that our refugee program is susceptible to exploitation by terrorists,” he said in a statement.
Another Texas Republican, Rep. Lamar Smith, echoed those concerns.
“It is disturbing, though not surprising, that terrorists have succeeded in exploiting our refugee system to come to the U.S. and aid ISIS,” he said Friday.
Watch a report on the arrests below.
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