Good work, but hopefully it won’t be needed under the Trump Administration.
Republicans in the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would give governors the power to reject federal efforts to resettle refugees in their states.
The bill from Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Ted Poe, both of Texas, is a reaction to years of growing GOP frustration with the Obama administration’s aggressive effort to take in refugees, and resettlement across the country. Republicans continue to have doubts that refugees can be vetted to ensure they aren’t Islamic State terrorists.
The State Refugee Security Act would require the federal government to notify states at least 21 days before they seek to settle a refugee. Under the bill, if a state governor certifies that the federal government hasn’t offered enough assurances that the refugee does not pose a security risk, the state can block the resettlement effort.
Poe said the Obama administration’s “open door policy” has forced states to take on refugees without these guarantees, and said states need a way to opt out.
“Until the federal government can conduct thorough security screenings and confirm that there are no security risks, Congress should empower states to be able to protect their citizens by refusing to participate in this program,” he said.
Cruz said the first obligation of the president is to keep Americans safe, and said the bill would be a step in that direction.
“I am encouraged that, unlike the previous administration, one of President Trump’s top priorities is to defeat radical Islamic terrorism,” he said. “To augment the efforts of the new administration, this legislation I have introduced will reinforce the authority of the states and governors to keep their citizens safe.”