WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the U.S. Senate floor today, Senator Rand Paul introduced an amendment to the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act to block taxpayer benefits for new refugees from high-risk countries. Below is the video and transcript of Sen. Paul’s remarks.
Click HERE to read the amendment in its entirety.
Sen. Paul: Mr. President, make no mistake, we have been attacked in the past by refugees or by people posing as refugees. The two Boston bombers were here as refugees. They didn’t take very kindly to what we gave them – education, food, clothing, and they chose to attack our country.
In Bowling Green, Kentucky, we had two Iraqi refugees who came through the refugee program, posing as refugees and then promptly decided to buy stinger missiles. Fortunately, they got them from an F.B.I. Agent and we caught them, but when we caught them, we discovered that their fingerprints were already on bomb fragments in Iraq in our database, and yet we had no clue and admitted them anyway.
I think we have an insufficient process for knowing who’s here legally and illegally. There are eleven million people in our country illegally, 40% of them have overstayed their Visa. Do we know who they are? Do we know where they are? If we extrapolate those statistics to those who are visiting our country from the Middle East, do we know where the 150,000 students are who say they’re going to school in our country from the Middle East? I don’t think we do. I don’t think we should continue adding people to the rolls of those coming from the Middle East until we absolutely know who is in our country and what their intentions are.
So my amendment says this that we’re not going to bring them here and put them on government assistance. When the poem beneath the statue of liberty says give me your tired, give me your poor, it didn’t say come to our country and we’ll put you on welfare. In those days, you came for opportunity. Many Christian churches have supported refugees. My church has supported refugees coming here. That’s charity. But when you put them on welfare, that is not charity.
We borrow a million dollars a minute. We don’t have enough money to do this. It’s a threat to our national security. And my amendment would end the housing assistance for refugees in order to send a message to the President the people have spoken, we are unhappy with your program. If you will not listen to the American people, we will take the money from the purse.
Thank you, Mr. President.