WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today supported legislation to strengthen the screening process for Syrian refugees.
H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act, or American Safe Act, 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.
“As the world continues to come to terms with what happened in Paris, we must remember that the threat of extremist attacks still looms over the United States. Top national security officials within the Obama Administration, including FBI Director James Comey, have repeatedly warned that the U.S. government dramatically lacks the information needed to fully vet refugees from Syria. Despite these warnings, the Administration continues to ignore our national security vulnerabilities while moving forward with a plan that threatens the safety of the American people. While I remain sympathetic to the terrible humanitarian crisis occurring in the Middle East, my first priority as an elected official is to ensure for the safety and security of both Hoosiers and Americans around the country. I stand shoulder to shoulder with my colleagues in suspending the refugee resettlement program and toughening security measures as an essential step to keeping would-be terrorists from potentially infiltrating America disguised as refugees. Hoosiers deserve basic assurances that their country is safe, secure, and free. This legislation is a good first step in the right direction.”
On Tuesday, Walorski sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson calling for a temporary suspension of Syrian refugee admissions until a full review of the resettlement program, including vetting security risks, could be completed.
H.R. 4038 passed the House by a vote of 289-137 and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District in Indiana, where she serves as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.