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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Call Congress About Refugee Resettlement: Spending Bill Vote Later This Week

Congress expected to pass 9-month spending bill this week -- Call to defund Refugee Resettlement and Block H-2B increases
by Chris Chmielenski: Congressional Leaders are expected to unveil a 9-month, omnibus spending bill later today or early tomorrow that should receive votes in the House and Senate before the end of the week. Until the actual text of the massive spending bill is released, we won't know for sure if it will address refugee resettlement or H-2B worker visas.

We learned a few weeks ago that a group of Senators led by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) were looking to include his legislation into the spending bill that would potentially quadruple the number of H-2B worker visas issued to foreign workers each year. The H-2B visa is used by employers to bring in low-skilled, temporary or seasonal non-agricultural workers to fill jobs traditionally held by low-skilled American workers. These visas stagnate wages and add unnecessary worker competition for some of the most vulnerable Americans. The current annual cap is 66,000, but Sen. Tillis' bill would exempt foreign workers who have received the visa within the past three years.

It's also unclear whether or not Congress will fully fund the refugee resettlement program, including Pres. Obama's plan to resettle at least 10,000 additional Syrian refugees in 2016. Last week, Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Lou Barletta (R-PA), and Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) introduced a stand-alone bill that would halt the refugee resettlement program until its costs and impacts on terror and crime can be further examined.

H.R.4218 would not only examine the budgetary impacts of refugee resettlement, but also require the Department of Homeland Security to produce a report identifying past refugees who have committed criminal acts in the United States.

The bill would require that:
  • Congress passes a joint resolution approving the President’s refugee resettlement plan
  • CBO provides a report to Congress scoring the long term cost of refugee resettlement operations
  • DHS submits a report to Congress identifying terrorist and criminal activity of refugees admitted into the U.S. since 2001
  • The President submits a report to Congress of the prior year’s cost of admitting refugees and proposes offsetting spending cuts to pay for resettlement.
“President Obama’s plan to admit thousands of additional Syrian refugees into this country at a time of heightened jihadist threats and the San Bernardino massacre is beyond reckless," Rep. Blackburn said. "It endangers our national security and costs hard working taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, which is why an omnibus funding bill should not include a blank check for refugee resettlement. We must confront the danger of radical Islamic extremism. Our legislation will allow Congress to check the President’s irresponsible resettlement agenda.”

“Recent attacks justify a temporary halt in our current refugee resettlement program," Rep. Smith said. "We have asked this administration for reports on the number of refugees admitted in recent years, the associated costs, and the number who have engaged in acts of terrorism or committed crimes. Americans deserve answers to these questions, yet the administration has failed to provide them. Our bill is simple: no more refugee admittance until we can strengthen the system and better ensure the safety of Americans. For this administration to force foreign refugees on American communities at this time ignores the very real security threats we face.”

"The attack in California demonstrated once again that there are radical Islamic terrorists whose main goal in life is to kill Americans," Rep. Barletta Said. "While the United States has always been a nation that welcomes people seeking refuge, it is only prudent to suspend our refugee program until we know exactly who we are letting in. The people’s representatives in Congress should have a say in who is admitted, how much relocating them will cost, and what security risks are associated with them. Until we have a handle on a dependable vetting process, we should put national security first and call a temporary halt to the refugee program.”

“The United States has always been a kind and caring nation," Rep. DesJarlais said. "However, we must not forget our government’s primary constitutional responsibility of ensuring the safety of the American public. As such, it is incumbent upon our elected officials to establish protocols that will properly safeguard our country from those who come here solely to do us harm. Unfortunately, President Obama’s own administration has publicly admitted that under the current framework, Syrian refugees cannot be vetted in a way that meets the rigorous security standards we rightfully expect. Therefore, it is critical we halt the refugee program until Congress is satisfied any individual admitted will not pose a security risk now or in the future.”

We're asking for Congress to add the Blackburn/Smith proposal to the spending bill as well as the reallocation of the funds to help refugees remain closer to their homes.

Please call your two U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative  via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard -- (888) 995-2086 (Toll Free). (Will take 3 free calls).

Once connected to your Members' offices, please tell the staffer that you want the Member to 1) oppose any increases to the H-2B visa program in the spending bill and to 2) add the Blackburn/Smith legislation (H.R.4218) that would halt the refugee resettlement program and reallocate the funds to helping refugees closer to their homes.
Chris Chmielenski is the ‎Director of Content and Activism at ‎NumbersUSA Education & Research Foundation which provides a civil forum for Americans of all political and ethnic backgrounds to focus on a single issue, the numerical level of U.S. immigration. They educate opinion leaders, policymakers and the public on immigration legislation, policies and their consequences.

Tags: Refugee resettlement, , National Security, oppose, H-2B visa program, spending bill, add Blackburn/Smith legislation, H.R. 4218, halt refugee resettlement program, reallocate funds, help keep refugees, closer to home, Action item   To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:20 AM - Post Link


Anonymous Pinball Shawn said...

I live in PA. My Senator couldn't care less about what the voters want, he can't stop sucking 0bama's dick long enough to answer calls.


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