Indiana lawmakers weigh in on Syrian refugees, Obama administration’s plan to fight ISIS

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INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 23, 2015) – As President Obama’s administration prepares for the arrival of French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday, the criticism grows over his handling of ISIS and Syrian refugees.

“We need to tighten down our security situation during this time of war,” Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) said in an interview with CBS4. “It is indeed a time of war.”

House Republicans, along with dozens of Democrats, voted last week to essentially halt the resettlement of any new refugees from Syria or Iraq.

“Clearly on its merits, the president’s strategy has failed,” Young said. “Even the president’s own director of the FBI indicated we don’t have good intelligence on the Syrian refugees.”

Congressman Andre Carson (D-Ind)., one of two Muslims serving in Congress, is not one of the Democrats supporting a halt.

“We’re probably the one nation that has the most rigorous process as it relates to screening,” Carson said. “I think we cannot let our impulsivity or our anxiety or even our emotions overtake the fact we should be a safe haven.”

On Monday the White House fought back against Congress and more than two dozen governors, including Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who have tried to ban Syrian refugees from entering their states.

On a conference call, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stood by President Obama.

“Now I have to be frank with you,” she said. “These proposals are deeply disturbing to me on many levels. First, they would punish an extremely volatile population of people who have been victimized by dictators and terrorists.”

The next critical vote most likely comes in the U.S. Senate after Thanksgiving break.

Both U.S. Senators from Indiana, Republican Dan Coats and Democrat Joe Donnelly, have said pausing the Syrian refugee program is needed.

“This isn’t designed to be prejudice against anybody,” Donnelly said. “It’s designed to make sure we’re safe.”

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