On Fox Business Tuesday, Republican Congressman Peter King (R-NY) warned that there is a"very good chance" that terrorists will be among the 10,000 Syrian migrants the Obama administration has agreed to grant asylum.
Asked if ISIS could be "seeding terrorists among the refugees" the administration is welcoming into the country, King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee, said "yes."
Arguing that in a post-9/11 era "we always have to assume the worst," King said "there's a very good chance here that the worst will happen." The reason: "there is absolutely no way — no real way of vetting, to any extent, these refugees coming in."
Explaining that the proper vetting of 1,500 migrants took a year-and-a-half, King asked how the president planned to effectively vet 10,000. One of the major problems, he pointed out, is there's "no government records" that can be used with any confidence.
KING: Now, over the last year-and-a-half or so, there has been an attempt at vetting, and they say they've cleared 1,500. Let's assume that's true. That's 1,500 in over a year. How is the president going to find another 10,000 that we can vet. The reason I say that is, there is no intelligence on the ground. We don’t have people on the ground who can vouch for everyone. There’s obviously no government records we can go to. Syria is a totally chaotic country, and it’s a hotbed of al Qaeda and ISIS. And we have no idea who’s coming out of Syria. … it definitely puts the United States at risk.
The Congressman contrasted the current situation with past asylum cases with populations that posed no risk to the nation, like the Jews who were seeking asylum from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. "The fact is, those Jews were not a threat to the United States, there was no rationale to keep them out," he said. "They weren’t kept out because they were Jews. They were kept out because we didn’t want to upset Hitler."
But with migrants from unstable Middle Eastern countries with influential radical elements, he argued, the threat should not be downplayed: "In this case, we have no idea who we're getting," he said, pointing out that many of the migrants are not actually "political refugees."
"[D]o you open up all your borders, not knowing who’s a real refugee, who’s coming for economic reasons, and who is affiliated with ISIS?" he asked.
King called for finally sealing the border, using the "strictest possible vetting," and taking "real action" in Syria:
KING: We have to seal the borders now, and have the strictest possible vetting. And other than that, we should also start taking real action in Syria. The president dropped the ball two years ago when he allowed Assad to cross the red line, that allowed both ISIS to develop, and allowed it also allowed Assad to build up his strength.
King also called out the Middle Eastern countries with means, namely, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other gulf states, to do their part in answering the humanitarian crisis.
Partial transcript Breitbart. Video Fox Business.