Jeff Sessions: Middle East should take charge of refugee crisis

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, said Friday that the U.S. has already taken in more than its “fair share” of migrants, and the Middle East should step up to resettle the recent surge of refugees:

“The United States has been doing more than its ‘fair share’ for decades. We have taken in 20 percent of global migrants, even as our country makes up only 5 percent of the global population,” Sessions said in a statement.

“Every year, on autopilot, we resettle at least another 1 million migrants on a permanent legal basis in the United States,”  he added. “We lack the resources to properly screen those we are already admitting, with scores of visas issued to those subsequently indicted and convicted for terrorist activity.”

The Alabama lawmaker made his comments in reaction to President Obama’s plan to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. next year.

Sessions, an immigration hawk who has been warning about the impact of unfettered migration to the U.S. for years, noted that beyond the national security risks there are significant fiscal costs associated with mass immigration to the U.S. and refugee admissions in particular.

Sessions added that more than 90 percent of recent refugees from the Middle East use food stamps and that the U.S. lacks “the funds to provide lifetime financial support to new arrivals.” Instead, he said, the U.S. should work to assist the Middle East in placing refugees “as close to their homes as possible.”