(Washington, D.C.) Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4038 – the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act – by a strongly bipartisan vote of 289 to 137. Representative Dent issued the following statement following his vote in support of this legislation:
“Recent attacks and intelligence threat assessments have given merit to pausing America’s acceptance of refugees from Syria and Iraq until a prompt review of the vetting process is completed by the appropriate federal agencies.
We are a country with a huge heart and a long history of opening our arms to provide shelter and aid to at-risk and displaced individuals from around the world. Helping others is our passion, but there are times when passions need to be constrained by prudence. The tragic attacks on our oldest ally and great friend, France, have made this such a time.
James Comey, the Director of the FBI, testified to Congress in October about major flaws in our current vetting system. If a refugee is not able to be sufficiently vetted to the point that Congress can receive assurances of no risk to the American people, then that person does not belong in our country.
The House passed the SAFE Act today by a strong bipartisan vote. I strongly urge the Senate to take up this legislation and pass it expeditiously, and beseech President Obama to heed the bipartisan message sent today by presenting a comprehensive political and military strategy to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS).”
Background on H.R. 4038: The American SAFE Act requires that the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) certify to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) that individuals from Syria and Iraq seeking refuge in the United States have received a background investigation sufficient to determine whether the alien is a threat to the security of the United States. It also requires that the FBI Director, the Secretary of DHS and the DNI then certify to Congress that a refugee is not a threat to the people of the United States before that refugee can be admitted.
CONTACT: Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490