Washington Free Beacon
A senior Department of Homeland Security official was unable to tell Congress the number of Syrian refugees who have entered the United States in the last year and the number of Americans who have travelled to Syria and returned, in testimony on Capitol Hill that angered many lawmakers.
Kelli Ann Burriesci, a deputy assistant secretary in the department’s office of policy, could not provide statistics about immigration when the House’s national security subcommittee grilled her about potential flaws in the visa waiver program.
While lawmakers had requested that its secretary, Jeh Johnson, testify before the committee, the agency sent Burriesci instead, saying that she is the resident expert on these issues.
Individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria have tried to infiltrate the United States through the Obama refugee program that will admit at least 10,000 Syrians, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has confirmed.
The disturbing admission comes amid robust assurances by the administration that the refugees are thoroughly vetted before entering the country. In fact, the State Department publicly guarantees that every Syrian refugee is rigorously screened because “nothing is more important to us than the security of the American people.” The agency also addresses public concerns involving resettling Syrian refugees by asserting that it’s a “myth” that “all Syrians are dangerous.” In fact, “none have been arrested or removed on terrorism charges,” the State Department writes in a bulletin. Admission is only granted “after the most extensive level of security screening of any category of traveler to the United States,” according to the agency.