Legion National Commander: Pause Import of Syrian Refugees

Nov 19, 2015, 16:41 ET from The American Legion

INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Concerned about the threats represented by ISIS and other jihadists, the head of the nation's largest veterans organization has called for at least a temporary halt to White House plans to allow thousands of  Syrian refugees to enter the United States.

"Unless a flawless vetting process can be established, The American Legion supports a pause in any process which seeks to accept an increase of refugees from the Middle East and Southwest Asia and anywhere anti-Americanism is suspected in the interest of national security," said American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett. "The American Legion maintains compassion for refugees; however the United States must ensure without any doubt that those who seek to destroy our American way of life are not hiding among innocent refugees. There are still too many unanswered questions about what led to the cowardly and heinous attacks in Paris last week. We should not increase the risk of such an attack occurring here."

Barnett pointed out that FBI Director James Comey has not been able to provide assurances that the United States currently has an adequate vetting process.

"And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing showing up because we have no record of them," Comey told a congressional committee in October.

With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.

Media Contact: Andrea Dickerson, (202) 263-2982 / cell (202) 417-4090 adickerson@legion.org; John Raughter, (317) 630-1350 / cell (317) 441-8847, jraughter@legion.org 

SOURCE The American Legion