Republican Sen. Ron Johnson from Wisconsin recently introduced a Senate version of a House bill that would halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees within the U.S. However, in a radio interview last week he defended the security and effectiveness of the current refugee vetting process.
Johnson, who is the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, spoke with Wisconsin radio host Brad Bennett last week and was asked about the ongoing debate about whether the U.S. should be admitting Syrian refugees.
“There is a pretty robust vetting process, it’s just true,” Johnson said.
“If you’re an Islamic terrorist, probably the last program I’d use to try to get into this country is the refugee program," he continued. "Because there’s a vetting process.”
Johnson said he introduced a version of the House bill to make sure problems in the refugee vetting process don't arise in the future.
“I introduced the House bill to force members of the administration to certify that we aren’t taking any shortcuts in the vetting process, because there’s the danger,” Johnson said. “President Obama announced that he’s going to increase the number of refugees in this country by 21% this year, 43% next year. That’s gonna put a great deal of pressure on the managers of that process, so I think it’s an appropriate response.”
The current screening process for refugees to enter the U.S. is complex and takes an average of 18-24 months to complete.