Rep. McCaul: Bringing Syrian refugees to America 'dangerous and reckless'

Congressman concerned about possible influx of Syrian refugees


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 19, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Also tonight, Syrian refugees -- should they be coming to America?  Well, they are in record numbers. My next guest is very concerned about it. Joining us now is House Homeland Security chairman, Congressman Michael McCaul is with us.

Congressman, apparently, the president now wants to increase the number of Syrian refugees coming into America. This is the home of ISIS.  How do we know that the people we let in are not sympathetic towards or even a part of this group?

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS: Well, we don't know that. And this is a very dangerous and reckless policy, in my judgment. I held a -- chaired an oversight hearing with the FBI, with Homeland Security, with the National Counterterrorism Center. They all three witnesses stated that this would pose a greater risk to Americans if we bring in these refugees from Syria that have not be properly vetted. And the FBI admitted they don't have the databases to properly vet these refugees.

I was actually over there, Sean, and the Jordanian minister of interior told me he doesn't know who these people are. So why in the world -- you know, we're working hard to keep these foreign fighters out of the United States. Why in the world do we have a federally sanctioned government program to bring thousands of Syrian refugees into the United States that could pose a greater risk to Americans?

HANNITY: Well, it's estimated what, that 4 million have been forced to flee Syria, 7 million out of their homes, 500 have already come to the United States. And how many is the president talking about bringing in? And what is the vetting process to find out where their sympathies lie? In other words, are they somewhat sympathetic to ISIS?  How are we going to know -- how do we ascertain that? That's -- you almost have to read somebody's heart to find out where they -- what they're thinking, right?

MCCAUL: I think that's exactly right. And the FBI again said because we don't have an intelligence footprint on the ground in Syria, we really don't know who these individuals are that we're just going to bring into the United States. Five hundred have already been brought in.

HANNITY: How many is he talking about? Thousands? 

MCCAUL: Thousands. 

HANNITY: Thousands of Syrians are going to come in here. I don't think we have the manpower to possibly vet all the people he's talking about, do we? 

MCCAUL: We don't. And we can't even monitor them when they come here. Remember, even in Iraq we had refugees coming in from Iraq, and we had two terrorists that killed Americans in Iraq that were allowed to come into the United States. And that's with all the intelligence on the ground we had in Iraq. 

This is, again, I think a very dangerous policy. I'm glad you're covering this story because more Americans need to know about this. I sent a letter to National Security adviser Susan Rice asking her to explain why she's doing this and to try to stop this from happening. My job as chairman of Homeland Security is to protect the American people. I believe this will put Americans at risk. 

HANNITY: They are burning people to death. They're beheading people.  There are firing squads. There's torture. There is -- now we know about the slave trade of women on top of harvesting organs. And we're going to risk taking people without proper vetting or following them here? We don't have the capacity to handle that. That is a really stupid idea. I hope you stay on top of it. 

MCCAUL: One last thing, ISIS has telegraphed that they want to exploit the refugee process to gain -- 

HANNITY: Of course they do. 

MCCAUL: -- entrance into the west and United States. And we need to stop that. 

HANNITY: They want to meet us in New York and they want to raise the flag of Islam on the White House. That's what they have said.

All right, sir. Thank you. Keep up the good work. 

MCCAUL: Thank you, Sean.

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