Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she wants a moratorium, a pause to give Congress and the public a chance to evaluate the vetting process. Murkowski said she knows screening a refugee family can take up to two years, but she isn’t clear on what it entails.
“And so until I know, I’m saying let’s put a stop on this right here, right now until we can ascertain what the process is in place,” she said.
Murkowski said she knows of no plan to settle Syrian refugees in Alaska. The state was not a destination for the 1,854 refugees that have been admitted to the U.S. since 2012.
Sen. Dan Sullivan said in a Facebook post that the government needs a rigorous system to verify identities of asylum seeker before the U.S. can accept any Syrian refugees. “We are a compassionate people, but we cannot afford to put our national security at risk,” he wrote.
Likewise, Congressman Don Young said the Syrian resettlement program should be halted until its safety can be assured.