House votes for bill making Syrian refugee admission almost impossible

Thursday, November 19, 2015
By Paul Martin

RT.com
19 Nov, 2015

The US House of Representatives has voted on a bill that sharply increases the security screening of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, effectively blocking President Barack Obama’s refugee settlement plan.

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, opposition to hosting Syrian refugees in the US has grown in many states. The US was planning to receive 30,000 refugees from Syria in 2016, after hundreds of thousands flooded Europe this summer. Now 31 states say they would put a halt on their resettlement or even stop it completely, citing terror concerns.

Two of the terrorists involved in the November 13 Paris terror attacks got into Europe as refugees.

House Resolution 4038, the ‘American SAFE Act of 2015’, was sponsored Republican lawmakers Mike McCaul (R-Texas) and Richard Hudson (R-North Carolina). The bill requires top US security officials (FBI, Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence) to certify that every refugee admitted to the US “does not represent a security threat,” according to McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

The floor debate was divided along party lines, with Republicans arguing it was a measure to protect the US from Islamic State militants who might be infiltrating among the Syrian refugees, and Democrats blasting it as a xenophobic attack on President Obama’s refugee policy.

The bill ensured that a “benevolent safe haven in America is not used by terrorists to murder Americans,” said California Republican Dana Rohrabacher.

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