Congressman Womack Clears Air On Canopy NWA Letter

ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- Three state lawmakers are leading a movement, hoping to bullet-proof the vetting system for refugees entering the United States. But their efforts have not come without controversy.

A letter to the Secretary of State refers directly to a local organization, Canopy NWA, dedicated to helping those refugees.

Congressman Steve Womack wants to make one thing clear.

"I don't have a problem with [Canopy NWA] at all," Womack told 5-NEWS over the phone, "What I have a problem with is the unknown result coming from what I believe is already proven to be very lax vetting system for refugees fleeing that area of the world."

Canopy NWA has nothing to do with the vetting system.

"Canopy actually is not involved in the admissions process at all," Executive Director Emily Crane Linn said. "That is up to the state department."

Womack wants major changes to that vetting system, and also says there's been congressional testimony that says the vetting process is not air tight.

"What do we do with the refugee resettlement program at this stage of the game if in fact it`s flawed? You suspend it. You stop it."

Congressman Womack is helping raise his issue with the highest levels of the Obama administration.

"No matter how you slice or dice it, if the vetting system is flawed, then the programs like Canopy that are trying to organize and orchestrate these resettlements are also going to be flawed."

Until the vetting system proven safe, Womack wants a suspension of refugee programs. The other congressmen joining Womack's effort include rep. Bruce Westerman and rep. Rick Crawford.

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