Johnson sides with Kasich on refugee issue

By Frank Lewis

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Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) is standing with Ohio Governor John Kasich in calling for a moratorium on accepting additional refugees in the United States and Ohio because they say security and safety issues cannot be adequately addressed:

“I am deeply concerned by President Obama’s decision to continue accepting an influx of Syrian refugees – an action that he defended as recently as today (Monday),” Johnson said. “Also earlier today, Gov. Kasich called for a moratorium on accepting additional refugees coming to the United States because security and safety issues cannot be adequately addressed. I agree with Gov. Kasich. As unanswered questions remain about the screening process used for Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S., it is time for the State Department, at a bare minimum, to halt bringing more refugees into the United States and Ohio. If our government can’t properly certify that asylum seekers from Syria, or any country for that matter, don’t present a safety or security threat, then they shouldn’t be admitted into America.”

Meanwhile, in Wake of Paris Tragedy, refugee resettlement leaders have responded to latest calls to stop the admission of Syrian refugees. In a statement prior to a national conference call, the leaders said – “In the wake of last week’s tragic attacks in Paris, France, many have been quick to point fingers and place blame on refugee families fleeing horrific violence and terrorism in Syria. In the United States, multiple governors have announced their opposition to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in their state. A number of Presidential candidates have also called for a halt to all refugee settlement of Syrians.

The news release goes on to say, “On tomorrow’s call, speakers will describe the extraordinary nature of the crisis, the unprecedented screening mechanisms already in place, and call for continued US leadership on one of the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII.”

Johnson, in joining with Kasich, to issue with the president’s strategy.

“There is no doubt in my mind that President Obama needs a more comprehensive plan than to simply ‘contain ISIS.’ Until leaders in the Middle East stand up and face the growing problem of Islamic extremism within their own borders, we can’t run the risk of importing more terrorists here. I believe that, if possible, the United States should make efforts to aid those who are persecuted in the Middle East, especially the Christians who often are the first to suffer at the hands of these barbarians,” Johnson said. “However, along with my colleagues, we took a sworn oath to the Constitution, which includes a duty to ‘provide for the common defense’ and protect our citizens from harm. The security of the American people must remain our first priority.”

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) added to the position.

“As a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, I have been raising my deep concerns about taking Syrian refugees because of our government’s inability to properly check their backgrounds to know who they are and why they are coming. When I raised this issue in a hearing last month and questioned Administration witnesses about whether the influx of refugees would subject Americans to risk, the answers I got were deeply troubling,” Portman said. “To that end, I call on the Administration to immediately halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees into the United States until there has been a thorough review of DHS and State Department vetting procedures to ensure that no terrorists or individuals with links to Islamist extremist groups make it into the United States, as they have in France.”

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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