Dec 02 2015

Yellowhammer News: Shelby rips Obama over Syrian refugees: 'We don’t need those people in this country'

During an interview on with conservative talk radio host Matt Murphy on Thursday, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) pointed to the crisis in Syria as evidence that President Barack Obama’s foreign policy has been a disaster for the country.

“I believe that the Syrian refugee situation is symptomatic of a failure in our foreign policy,” Shelby said. “This is coming to the front, but underlying all this fundamentally is the Obama foreign policy that is in disarray. There’s no rhyme or reason to it — blunder after blunder… The Syrian refugees, we don’t need those people in this country… We need leadership in the White House. We need people to fear us in the world and respect us, and right now they don’t.”

Murphy cited polling data showing that although the American people are sympathetic to the plight of refugees, they are against opening the country’s borders to Syrians, whose backgrounds are hard to vet. A new Bloomberg poll found that only 28 percent of Americans currently approve of the President’s handling of the refugee situation.

“I believe you’re spot on on the feeling of the American people on this,” Shelby replied. “(Congress should) defund (the Refugee Resettlement Program), and put language in the appropriations bill… to say that the President cannot spend any money to bring these refugees into the country. That’s the best thing we can do. Senator Sessions and I are both working together on this… It will solve the immediate problem, but the underlying problem is the failure year after year of the foreign policy of the Obama administration, this disarray that we find ourselves in the world with no respect.”

The current funding proposal before Congress would not only authorize the President’s plan to bring in 85,000 refugees on top of the current, historical annual immigration flow, but would also allow for an unlimited amount of money to be spent on lifetime welfare and benefits for refugees. Sen. Jeff Sessions has pegged the lifetime cost refugee resettlement to be $55 billion.

100 refugees are currently slated to be housed in Alabama by Catholic Social Services. The date of their arrival is uncertain.

Senators Shelby and Sessions have been the leading voices in Congress calling for the defunding of the program.

“Our immigration and refugee policies must serve the interests of our nation and protect the security of the American people,” they wrote in a joint press release. “After admitting 1.5 million migrants from Muslim countries on lifetime visas since 9/11, it is time to assist in relocating Muslim migrants within their home region rather than relocating large numbers to the United States. It simply cannot be our policy to encourage a mass migration of entire populations from their homelands, a strategy that will only further destabilize the region and bring threats of terrorism deep inside our shores.”

To hear Sen. Shelby’s full interview on the Matt Murphy Show, click here.