[9/30/16] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Leon Rodriguez told Congress Thursday that “not a single act of actual terrorist violence has been a committed by a refugee” who underwent USCIS screening procedures since 9/11. But when a senator asked him if it was “correct” that many people who came into the refugee program as adults had been “convicted of terrorist offenses,” Rodriguez admitted that that was “correct.”
Under further questioning by Sen. David Vitter (R.-La.), Rodriguez admitted that he did not know the actual number of refugees admitted to the U.S. who had later been convicted of terrorist offenses. Vitter said, in questioning Rodriguez, that Congress had asked the administration for this number and it had not been provided.
USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
“The fact is that since Sept. 11, not a single act of actual terrorist violence has been committed by a refugee who has undergone our screening procedures. There have been individuals who came to the U.S. as children,” Rodriguez told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest during its hearing on the refugee resettlement program.
“There are individuals who came a long time ago before our modern procedures, but since Sept. 11, all we have had is conspiracies – not only by refugees, but in fact by U.S.-born persons, other kinds of immigrants. It’s really an equal opportunity world,” he added.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), chairman of the subcommittee, asked Rodriguez, “You don’t count conspiracies?”
“They’re not actual acts of violence. They were effectively disrupted by U.S. law enforcement, is my point, sir,” Rodriguez responded.
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) told Rodriguez about a report done by Fordham University Law School’s Center on National Security on ISIS prosecutions in the U.S.
“They looked at all ISIS prosecutions in the United States and determined that of those involved in that, 18 percent were refugees or asylees. Shouldn’t that be of enormous concern to all of us?” Vitter asked Rodriguez.
“Without a doubt. Yes,” Rodriguez responded.
“My question is: Isn’t that a very big percentage? 18 percent.” Vitter asked a moment later.
“One percent would be a big percentage. This is an area of significant concern,” Rodriguez said.
“Now a few minutes ago, you touted and made a big deal in your testimony, or perhaps in response to a question, that since 9/11 there has been no person who came in as an adult in the refugee program who was convicted of a violent terrorist offense. Now that’s great, but that was a very carefully crafted statement. There are many people who came in as adults in the refugee program who’ve been convicted of terrorist offenses, correct?” Vitter asked.
“That is correct,” Rodriguez replied…CONTINUE READING