GOP lawmakers push back on White House’s ‘secret list’ of refugees

Up to a dozen Republican lawmakers on Tuesday pressed President Donald Trump’s administration to release an internal report on how many refugees it plans to accept as part of the administration’s new refugee resettlement program, and whether it’s keeping an “unmasking” policy in place.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a statement that he and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., are “working with the White House to ensure that the President is not misleading Congress by hiding from the American people his plans to allow the resettlement of refugees who were illegally brought to the United States as children, including the thousands of refugees whose identities were not released to the public by the White Department in March.”

The American people deserve to know how these terrorists who are so intent on murdering Americans are being screened and allowed into our country,” Rubio said.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D, Calif., said the Trump administration should be held accountable for its actions.

The White House has said that it plans on resettling refugees from the countries listed in the President Donald J. Trump Executive Order on Immigration, but the Trump Administration has said it won’t be able to accept refugees from any country without the approval of Congress.

Democrats have slammed the administration for hiding the identities of those who are being processed, which the White Trump administration said would protect the safety of American citizens.

Trump signed an executive order in February that created a secret list of refugees to be resettled, but a White House official told The Hill that the names were not known to the President and that they are being provided to the Justice Department.

The officials also told The Associated Press that the government is not releasing any information on the identities or legal status of the refugees.

The administration’s efforts to mask the identities are not unprecedented, however.

The administration used an obscure method to temporarily halt the resettlement program in April of this year, saying it was not clear that those in the program were legal permanent residents.