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Senate To Hold First Refugee Resettlement Oversight Hearing In 16 Years

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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The Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest will hold the first refugee oversight hearing in 16 years Thursday.

Subcommittee chair Jeff Sessions called four government witnesses to testify at the hearing regarding the fiscal and security implication of the Obama administration’s plan to resettle close to 200,000 refugees over the next two years, including at least 10,000 from Syria.

“The United States has been doing more than its ‘fair share’ for decades,” Sessions said in an earlier statement, when the administration announced the plan to lift the cap on refugee intake in response to the European migrant crisis. (RELATED: Pope Francis Urges U.S. Not To Turn Its Back On Refugees)

Although the U.S. makes up less than 5 percent of the global population, it takes in one in five of the world’s migrants. The next closest country takes in fewer than 1 in 20. (RELATED: US Has Half The Population, SIX TIMES The Population)

“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,” he added. “And, as one of the world’s leading debtors, we lack the funds to provide lifetime financial support to new arrivals: 9 in 10 Middle Eastern refugees recently admitted to the U.S. are on food stamps.” (RELATED: Germany ‘Struggling To Ward Off Panic’ Over Migrant Crisis)

The cap will increase from 70,000 per year to 100,000 per year over the next two years, as the U.S. takes in an initial extra 45,000 migrants, including a minimum of 10,000 Syrians.

Each year the U.S. gives 1 million immigrants permanent legal status. The foreign-born population hit an all-time high in 2014 and is on track to break every historical record in the next 50 years. (RELATED: 1965 Immigration Law Exploded Foreign-Born Population)

The witnesses are Larry Bartlett, with the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services refugee affairs chief Barbara Strack, USCIS refugee resettlement director Robert Carey and Matthew Emrich, in fraud detection and national security at USCIS.

The Judiciary subcommittee hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST Thursday.

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