President Obama on Tuesday will lead a special summit on the need to take in Syrian refugees, just days after weekend terrorist attacks that are raising more questions about whether the U.S. should be cracking down on immigration instead of opening the doors further.
Plans for Obama to lead the summit were months in the making, long before Ahmad Khan Rahami allegedly planted a pressure cooker bomb in New York that detonated, injuring 29 people. Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, is also thought to be responsible for bombs discovered in New Jersey.
The incident puts real pressure on Obama to make the case for taking in thousands of additional refugees, in the face of calls from Donald Trump and other Republican critics who say it’s time to tighten the rules, not ease them. Obama’s critics say the timing couldn’t be worse.
“The timing of the summit just reinforces the idea that we need to get a handle on our refugee program,” Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, told the Washington Examiner. “There is a clear and present danger posed to our national security by these poorly vetted refugees that are pouring in, and the president continues to double down on his intentions to bring in more and more of the individuals from hot spots like Syria.”