American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act Passes House

Nov 19, 2015
Press Release
Overwhelming, Bipartisan, Veto-Proof Support

American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act Passes House
Overwhelming, Bipartisan, Veto-Proof Support

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With many of our nation’s top national security officials expressing concern over the ability to ensure ISIS terrorists are not exploiting the Syrian refugee program, the House today passed the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, H.R. 4038. The 289 – 132 vote was overwhelming, bipartisan, and veto-proof.  The bill, introduced by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and Congressman Richard Hudson, requires comprehensive background checks of every refugee from Iraq or Syria and certification that each does not pose a threat before they can be admitted into the United States.

“Today the House took decisive action to show the American people we are doing all we can to protect our country,” said Chairman McCaul. “We must listen to the words of our enemies. ISIS has vowed in their words to 'exploit the refugee process, to sneak operatives, to infiltrate the West.’ They appear to have already done that to attack our allies. Last week the streets of Paris could have just as easily been the streets of New York, or Chicago, or Houston, or Los Angeles. ”

“The People’s House has spoken – Republicans and Democrats came together in a veto-proof majority to respond to the will of the American people and do our primary job to keep them safe,” said Rep. Hudson. “Today’s strong bipartisan vote doesn't say stop Syrian and Iraqi refugees and don’t ever let them in again. It says pause the program unless and until the top security officials in the United States are comfortable that we have a safe and reliable process and the American people can be assured that terrorists aren’t exploiting our country’s compassion by posing as refugees. I encourage our colleagues in the Senate to swiftly take up this common sense, reasonable bill to keep terrorists out and the American people safe.”

The American SAFE Act requires comprehensive background checks of every refugee from Iraq or Syria before they can be admitted into the United States and certification that each does not pose a threat.

Specifically, under this legislation, no refugee from Iraq or Syria will be admitted into the U.S. unless:

1.       the FBI Director certifies the background investigation of each refugee; and

2.       the Secretary of Homeland Security, along with the FBI Director and the Director of National Intelligence, certifies to Congress that each refugee is not a security threat to the United States.

Under this legislation, no Syrian or Iraqi refugee can enter the United States until the American people’s representatives in Congress receive these certifications.

It also creates an additional layer of protection by requiring the DHS Inspector General to independently assess the refugee approvals—making sure that high-risk individuals do not slip through the cracks.

Full text of H.R. 4038 is available, here.

Nation’s Top Security Officials’ Concerns on Refugee Vetting is available, here.

 

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