The head of the House Homeland Security Committee thinks it is “very pro-American” to keep Syrian refugees out of the United States because of security concerns (video below).
“I think it’s very pro-American to protect American lives,” Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said in an interview with HBO’s “Vice,” which will air on Feb. 12.
“I would argue that until I’m given assurance by the secretary of Homeland [Security], FBI director, director of national intelligence, that these people don’t pose a threat to our national security, I’m uncomfortable,” McCaul told “Vice” correspondent Gianna Toboni.
The “assurance” McCaul wants would have been part of the bipartisan legislation the House approved in November, which the Senate blocked earlier this year, that would have changed the security procedures for refugees from Iraq and Syria, according to Reuters. Every Republican Senator backed the bill, while only two Democrats gave it their support.
“If we don’t do this right, Americans could die. And that’s what we’re trying to stop,” McCaul said in the "Vice" interview.
To date, less than 3,000 Syrian refugees have come to the U.S., The Hill reports. President Barack Obama is pushing to allow 10,000 refugees enter the country.
As many as 4 million people have fled Syria since the five-year civil war began; around 300,000 are believed to have died.