During the announcement of the new travel ban executive order, Attorney General Jeff Sessions attempted to make the case for the pause in allowing refugees into the U.S. with a statement warning of the potential national security danger they pose.
“[M]ore than 300 people who came here as refugees are under FBI investigation for potential terrorism-related activities,” Sessions said Monday morning. He also said that those who are “seeking to support or commit terrorist attacks here will try to enter through our refugee program.”
The line also appears in the text of the executive order: “The Attorney General has reported to me that more than 300 persons who entered the United States as refugees are currently the subjects of counterterrorism investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
It is true, according to senior Homeland Security and Justice Department officials, that about 300 refugees are currently being investigated by the FBI for terror ties. However, the officials will not say what countries these refugees had been resettled from, nor have they offered any information on when they came to the U.S. Officials also aren’t saying whether the status of any of these refugees has changed -- for instance, to legal permanent resident or naturalized citizen.