Refugees can be admitted to the U.S. without any corroborating documents or physical evidence, the chief of the immigration service told Congress on Wednesday — though he insisted that’s not the typical situation.
Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said a “significant” number of refugees have been implicated in terrorist plots over the past eight years but that the rejection of some 7 percent of Syrian applications proves his officers can spot danger signs.
“We’ve turned a lot of people down,” he said.
Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, countered that it was striking that the department knew how many people it denied but couldn’t determine how many refugees have been connected to terrorism. He read off the details of several cases, including a refugee from Iraq, living in Texas, arrested this year for plotting against the U.S.
“We keep seeing instances over and over again of refugees coming to America with an intention to engage in terrorism,” Mr. Cruz said.