Plan to admit more refugees faces stiff opposition in U.S. Congress

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
US to Accept 100,000 Refugees in 2017

Plans by President Barack Obama's administration to allow thousands more refugees into the United States faced stiff opposition on Monday in the U.S. Congress, where Republican lawmakers demanded the right to review, and reject, the effort, citing fears of terrorism.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday announced an increase in the number of refugees the country takes in by 15,000 in each of the next two years, bringing the total to 100,000 by 2017.

He did not say how many of the additional refugees would be from Syria, but the remarks may show increasing U.S. willingness to help cope with the mass migration of Syrians, although the offer is modest when compared with the hundreds of thousands that are moving to Europe and in particular, Germany.

See photos from the refugee crisis:

11 PHOTOS
General migrant crisis - Syrian refugees, entering all European countries
See Gallery
Plan to admit more refugees faces stiff opposition in U.S. Congress
Migrant and refugee children lie on the ground during a demonstration to protest against Turkish police blocking the access to the road and the ticket office for the Turkey-Greece border towns on September 15, 2015 at Istanbul's Esenler Bus Terminal. Over half a million migrants have crossed the European Union's border so far this year, up from 280,000 in 2014, the bloc's Frontex border agency said on September 15, 2015 -- but warned some people may have been counted twice. AFP PHOTO / YASIN AKGUL (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images)
ROSZKE, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 13: A young boy wraps up to keep warm as migrants wake up to a cold morning at the Hungarian border with Serbia on September 13, 2015 in Roszke, Hungary. A record number of 4,000 people crossed the Hungarian border with Serbia yesterday. Migrants are rushing to the border due to fears that the borders will soon close before the official closure of midnight on Monday, September 14th. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called 'Balkans route' has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The number of people leaving their homes in war torn countries such as Syria, marks the largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
SANLIURFA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 28: (TURKEY OUT) Kurdish refugee children from the Syrian town of Kobani look on near makeshift tents in a camp in the southeastern town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province October 28, 2014. Kurdish fighters, supported by US-led air strikes, have fended off the Islamic State militants offensive into the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani for the last 44 days but remain ill equipped and short on ammunition. (Photo by Kutluhan Cucel/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - JULY 02: Mother of Syrian child refugee 8-year-old Ahmet Kedru, with partial thickness burns on the face, Aisha Kedru weeps as her son demands support for an aesthetic surgery from Turkish doctors to return to the old days on July 02, 2015 in Aleppo's district Azaz. When Ahmet and his family members were inside of a tent that they take shelter in at Azaz district, the tent is burned out. Fire damaged both him and his mother. (Photo by Kerem Kocalar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Syrian refugees wait for transportation after crossing into Turkey from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, near Akcakale in Sanliurfa province, on June 10, 2015. Thousands of people crossed from Syria into Turkey on June 10 to flee a battle pitting Islamist insurgents against Kurdish and opposition forces for the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
SANLIURFA, TURKEY - JUNE 06: A Turkish soldier carries a Syrian girl as she crosses into Turkey with her family from the borderline in Akcakale district of Sanliurfa on June 06, 2015. Hundreds of Syrians who fled from Syria after clashes between Syrian government forces and opponents in Rasulayn region of Al-Hasakah, have crossed into Turkey since Wednesday. (Photo by Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A Syrian refugee woman sits as a child sleeps near her early in the morning on Taksim Square, Istanbul, on May 26, 2015. Britain's David Cameron and Russia's Vladimir Putin have agreed to re-start talks on finding a solution to the crisis in Syria, a statement from Cameron said on May 25. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A Syrian Kurdish boy peers as children take lessons on November 10, 2014 in a makeshift school tent in a refugee camp in the town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province. Turkey's maintained an 'open door' policy for all those fleeing Syria's civil war and there are now over 1.5 million Syrian refugees living in the country. More than 280,000 Syrian refugees are living in refugee camps, mostly in the southeast, according Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD). AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINI (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Kurdish people watch the Syrian town of Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, from the Turkish border in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province, on October 18, 2014. Turkey is turning a deaf ear to insistent pressure to take a more pro-active stance in the fight against Islamic State (IS) jihadists, adding to existing strains with the West under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Western diplomats have repeatedly made clear they want to see the key NATO member play a key role in the coalition against the militants, who are battling for the Syrian town Kobane just a few kilometers from Turkey. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A child cries as Syrian Kurdish people arrive after crossing the border between Syria and Turkey after several mortars hit both side in the southeastern town of Suruc, in the Sanliurfa province on September 29, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey fleeing an onslaught by the Islamic State (IS) group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. Some of the refugee now want to return to protect their homes and join the fight against IS militants. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Under current law, U.S. Congress does not have to approve the Democratic administration's plans to admit more refugees. But the House of Representatives and Senate, both controlled by Republicans, would have to appropriate money to pay for the additional effort.

Lawmakers worry that Islamic State fighters could pose as refugees in order to sneak into the United States or western Europe.

Republican Senators Shelley Moore Capito, Mark Kirk, Joni Ernest, Mike Rounds and Roger Wicker, as well as Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, wrote to Kerry and Jeh Johnson, Obama's Secretary of Homeland Security, last week, expressing their concerns and urging Washington to tightly screen any refugees.

The current U.S. screening process for immigrants from Syria is so tight that only 1,500 refugees have been allowed into the country since the civil war began 4-1/2 years ago.

U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, introduced legislation that would let Congress review plans to resettle Syrians in the United States and further tighten security screenings for them.

"This bill will rein in the Administration's refugee resettlement plans and give Congress more control over the process," said McCaul, whose committee oversees U.S. immigration law.

If enacted, McCaul's bill would bar the Obama administration from admitting the refugees until both the House and Senate passed a joint resolution admitting them.

It also requires the administration to prioritize the admission of members of Christians and other religious minorities when admitting refugees from Iraq and Syria.

See photos from clashes between refugees and Hungarian police:

32 PHOTOS
Refugees clash with Police at Hungarian Border
See Gallery
Plan to admit more refugees faces stiff opposition in U.S. Congress
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees cover themselves with a tent as they ran away from tear gas during a clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees cover themselves with a tent as they ran away from tear gas during a clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees cover their faces as they ran away from tear gas during a clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Hungarian police use water cannon against refugees at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugee kids are seen during a demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : A refugee looks through the razor-wire fence at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees cover themselves with a blanket as they ran away from tear gas during a clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : A refugee throws rock at Hungarian riot police during a clash at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees cover their faces as they ran away from tear gas during a clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : A hand written sign is seen as refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Hungarian riot police stands guard as refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees are seen through the razor-wire fence at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Hungarian riot police is seen through the razor-wire fence as refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees carry an injured person as they clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees demonstrate at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : A refugee throws a wood piece at Hungarian riot police during a clash at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees cover their faces as they ran away from tear gas during a clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees carry an injured person as they clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees cover themselves with a tent as they ran away from tear gas during a clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HORGOS, SERBIA - SEPTEMBER 16 : Refugees cover their faces as they ran away from tear gas during a clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border, near the town of Kanjiza after Hungarian authorities closed their border in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

Man Felt Something Inside His Nose - But What Doctors Pull Out Leaves Everyone Stunned Man Felt Something Inside His Nose - But What Doctors Pull Out Leaves Everyone Stunned
20 Folks Recall Shocking Interview Moments That Made Them NOT Want the Job 20 Folks Recall Shocking Interview Moments That Made Them NOT Want the Job
People Are Stunned When They Found Out What Creature This Horrifying Mouth Belongs To People Are Stunned When They Found Out What Creature This Horrifying Mouth Belongs To