U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn took to the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday to make another push for a temporary ban on resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States, reports WPLN. She cited the recent Orlando murders in her speech.
Blackburn has co-sponsored a measure with fellow Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais that would cut off all funding for resettlement until Congress has approved the Obama administration’s plans.
The shooter in the Pulse nightclub massacre was born and raised in the United States; his parents were immigrants from Afghanistan. Authorities also say they have not found any evidence he was in contact with Islamic State, even though he’s reported to have declared his allegiance with the group.
Still, Blackburn says the case suggests Syrians shouldn’t be allowed into the U.S.
That’s because Omar Mateen was twice investigated by federal authorities based on tips he might become violent, but they found nothing.
“This reveals vetting is nearly impossible,” Blackburn says, “and it is one of the reasons … that we need to halt the migration of Syrian refugees until a proper process is in place.”
Supporters of refugee resettlement counter by arguing the process is already tough enough, frequently taking years to complete.
They also argue that it’s rare for a refugee to get involved in extremism.
More often it has been someone who was reared in the U.S. — like Mateen — that carries out an attack.