Thursday, November 19, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting in favor of the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act, which would effectively pause the admittance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the United States:
"As outlined in the Constitution, Congress' primary responsibility is protecting the safety of the American people. After attending classified briefings on the terrorist attacks in Paris and how they impact the resettlement of refugees, I am very concerned about the effectiveness of our current screening process. These concerns stem from the fact that our intelligence and security leaders cannot say with absolute certainty that an individual entering our country under refugee status poses no threat to our national security.
"America has a proud tradition of being the most generous nation in the world, and we will maintain our ongoing commitment to provide humanitarian aid to innocent Syrians where we can and seek to assist them in finding refuge in places closer to their homeland. But we simply cannot justify the risks of admitting Syrian refugees without proper screening. The SAFE Act is a vital step to protect the American people, and I am disappointed that the President has already threatened to veto this critical security measure in the face of today's bipartisan vote.
"ISIS has continued to grow and expand its reign of evil, which has significantly contributed to this enormous refugee crisis, in part because America has failed to effectively lead on the world's stage. It is incumbent upon the President to articulate a complete, thorough strategy to destroy ISIS, which he has failed to do for far too long. While the President fails put our national security first and fulfill his constitutional responsibility of detailing a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS, we in the House will continue to do everything in our power to ensure the safety of the American people."
· Ensuring that comprehensive background checks are conducted on every individual seeking refuge in the United States, this legislation will require the FBI director to certify each background investigation.
· Additionally, it requires the FBI director, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence to unanimously agree that each refugee poses no security threat to the United States and certify that before Congress.