Jim Himes statement on vote to enhance Iraqi and Syrian refugee program
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, made the following statement on today’s vote about increasing security measures for certain refugees into the United States:
“After the horrifying terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris, I share the concerns of my constituents and the American people that Congress must do all in our power to prevent a similar attack in the United States. Fair-minded Americans know it’s essential that we keep our country safe while still maintaining our commitment to protecting innocents from violence and persecution in their home countries. I feel passionately that this is a moral imperative.
“Today’s bill, the American SAFE Act, increases coordination between U.S. security agencies that are involved in screening Syrian and Iraqi refugees. The bill simply requires that our national security leaders certify that the thorough and extensive processes that are already in place to ensure the safety of our country are being followed. After conversations with our national security leaders, I do not believe it will significantly increase the burden on these agencies, delay the 18-24 month wait time for refugees, or impair our ability to help those fleeing the war-torn region.
“I have faith that we can provide shelter to the victims of ISIL and the Syrian civil war who seek refuge on our shores and use the full power of our military, intelligence, and security agencies to keep Americans safe from harm. I will continue to work in a bipartisan way to achieve these goals for the people of Connecticut’s 4th District.”