President Barrack Obama continues to defend his call to allow10,000 Syrian refugees into the country, comparing the situation topilgrims coming over on the Mayflower during his Thanksgiving address.
“In 1620, a small band of pilgrims came to this continent,refugees who had fled persecution and violence in their nativeland,” he said. “Nearly 400 years later, we remembertheir part in the American story — and we honor the men andwomen who helped them in their time of need.”
The commander in chief went on to say he istouchedÂ by letters sent to him by supporters of hisplan.
“Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, theworld is still full of pilgrims — men and women who wantnothing more than the chance for a safer, better future forthemselves and their families,” he continued.
Recent polls show 60 percent of Americans oppose the idea in thewake of the recent terror attacks in Paris.
The president stressed refugees will have to go through strongsecurity checks before entering the country, but some lawmakers are skeptical the United States hasthe capability to vet the amount of people Obama is callingfor.
â€œUp till now, the small number of Syriansallowed in the country has enabled us to take prudent measures toscreen them,â€ Rep. PatÂ Meehan said in astatement last week. â€œBut the dramatic increasein refugee admissions the administration seeks will preclude that.We simply have no ability to vet vast numbers of refugees fromSyria at this time.â€
The House recently passed a bill requiring theÂ HomelandSecurity secretary, FBI director and the director of nationalintelligence to sign off on each refugee to ensure theyarenâ€™t a threat to national security. It isunclear whether the bill will be taken up in the upper chamber.