McCaul and Hudson Introduce Bill to Protect Americans from ISIS

Nov 18, 2015
Press Release
Ensures Refugee Process is not Exploited by Terrorists and Foreign Fighters

McCaul and Hudson Introduce Bill to Protect Americans from ISIS
Ensures Refugee Process is not Exploited by Terrorists and Foreign Fighters

WASHINGTON, DC– Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC) together took an important step forward in protecting the Americans from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists looking to exploit the refugee program and conduct attacks in the U.S.

H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, would put in place the most robust national-security vetting process in history for any refugee population and it gives the American people the assurances needed that we will do everything possible to prevent terrorists from reaching our shores.


“America has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees into our country, and we lead the world in humanitarian assistance. However, we also must put proper measures in place to ensure our country’s safety,” said Chairman McCaul. “I would like to recognize Congressman Hudson for his leadership on this bill and appreciate his willingness to work with me on this important legislation. The bill requires the nation’s top security officials—the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence—to certify before admitting any Syrian or Iraqi refugee into the United States that the individual does not represent a security threat.


“I sent a letter to President Obama on Monday,” McCaul continued, “calling for a temporary suspension of Syrian refugee admissions until a full review of the resettlement program, including vetting security risks, could be completed. It is apparent that the President will ignore these concerns, making this legislation necessary to toughen security measures in order to keep terrorists from infiltrating America disguised as refugees. We cannot afford to play Russian roulette with our national security.”

"I was glad to work with Chairman McCaul on this reasonable approach to stop the open flow of 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States without adequate vetting,” said Congressman Hudson. 

"Our top responsibility is to protect the American people and this common sense approach is one step necessary to do just that.” continued Hudson. "America is a compassionate nation. No country on Earth does more or spends more to care for our fellow man. But being compassionate doesn't mean we have to have reckless policies that put American lives at risk.” 

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.

Chairman McCaul’s letter to President Obama on Syrian Refugees is available, here.