“It’s clearly a population of concern,” the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Nicholas Rasmussen, told the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday.
Committee Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, went further, saying it would be a “huge mistake” to bring refugees from the conflict to the U.S. – even as an estimated 4 million children, women and men have been forced to flee Syria and another 7 million have been displaced from their homes there, unable to leave.
Senior officials leading the State Department’s refugee efforts say the U.S. government has a long history of caring for the innocent victims of war.
“It’s not a matter of should we do it, it’s really a matter of how we do it,” Larry Bartlett, the State Department’s director of Refugee Admission for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, told ABC News. “One of the fundamental principles of our country is that we care about others. We will help others.”