The refugee crisis arising from the often savage conflicts raging in the Middle East and North Africa poses one of the great moral dilemmas of our time. On the one hand, we have an affirmative obligation to offer protection to people who are in imminent peril. On the other, we have an affirmative obligation to protect the security of the American people.
To be sure, the vast majority of people fleeing Syria and other war-ravaged countries pose no immediate threat to national security (although, as we have seen, some become susceptible to radicalization through Saudi-financed mosques after arriving here). But as officials within the Obama administration testified, including National Intelligence Director James Clapper, we do not presently have the capacity to identify and screen out security threats. We have seen the tragic consequences of these intelligence gaps in Europe, where ISIS operatives posing as refugees helped carry out the deadly attacks in Paris in November 2015.
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