Tennessee pol: Round up Syrian refugees for review

Syrian refugees a hot topic in 2016 presidential race
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  • Like many other Republicans, Tennessee Rep. Glen Casada hopes the U.S. not allow more Syrians to immigrate to the country,
  • Casada said he would defer to intelligence agencies as to which Syrians would need to be investigated

Washington (CNN)A top Tennessee Republican is suggesting that state and federal authorities round up Syrian refugees already in the United States and learn whether they may have ties to Islamic terrorism.

Glen Casada, the head of the state's House Republican Caucus, said Wednesday that he would like agencies such as the Tennessee National Guard and Immigrations and Custom Enforcement to collect every Syrian refugee after the date when American intelligence officials believe ISIS may have begun to try and infiltrate refugee populations. If refugees are deemed to have terror ties, they should be expelled from the U.S., Casada said.
"I'm just sounding the alarm. And I didn't know what else to do," Casada said. "They're going to sneak into our country and they're going to attack us."
    Like many other Republicans -- including those running for president -- Casada also hopes that the U.S. not allow more Syrians to immigrate to the country, citing security concerns.
    "I want them to get them back and pick them up and take them to a nearby ICE facility and to make sure, that without a shadow of the doubt, that they're not terrorists," Casada told CNN. "I want the federal government to come get those that were not vetted properly."
    Casada said he would defer to intelligence agencies as to which Syrians would need to be investigated, saying he could not precisely identify when ISIS's alleged infiltration began. Casada indicated that the round-ups and expulsions would merely be a "last ditch, last effort" option after initial observations of these Syrians.
    State Department spokesman John Kirby said later Wednesday that the notion of using the National Guard to round up refugees is "deeply troubling, deeply concerning."
    In the last fiscal year, 30 refugees from Syria settled in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Office for Refugees.