WASHINGTON, DC – Placing national security first, Congressman Ander Crenshaw continued to support a temporary suspension of the Syrian refugee resettlement program and today (11/19) voted to pass the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act (H.R. 4038). The legislation passed by a vote of 289 - 137 and puts in place the most robust refugee vetting process in history to protect terrorists from slipping through the cracks and threatening the homeland.
Crenshaw, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government and Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, issued the following statement:
“America has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees into our country and leads the world in humanitarian assistance. In that process, we must have proper refugee screening and vetting procedures in place to protect national security. Our nation’s safety will always be my number one priority.
“That’s why I support a temporary suspension of refugee resettlement until a more robust refugee resettlement program is in place. The SAFE Act provides a path forward. Before admittance into the United States, the bill requires comprehensive background checks on all refugees from Syria or Iraq and certification that each does not pose a threat to the homeland.
“The slaughter of innocent life in Paris - ISIS’s most recent action - is another dark chapter in the terrorists’ unending quest to perpetuate evil around the globe. America stands united with France and all freedom-loving countries in a mission to rid the globe of these barbaric acts while also protecting the lives of innocent refugees who seek safe haven. National security must come first, and the enhanced screening procedures in the SAFE Act are necessary to ensure that bar is being met.”
Specifically, under H.R. 4038, 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.
3. Under this legislation, no Syrian or Iraqi refugee can enter the United States until Congress receives these certifications.
The bill 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.