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Carter Votes to Halt Refugee Resettlement in the United States

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Washington, November 19, 2015 | Mary Carpenter (202-834-0386) | comments
Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (Ga-01) voted today to halt refugee resettlement in the United States from Syria and Iraq until additional security measures are put in place.

The House passed the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act today, with Carter’s support, to put in place the most robust national-security vetting process in history for refugee resettlement. The legislation requires the nation’s top security officials to certify before admitting any Syrian or Iraqi refugee into the United States that the individual does not represent a security threat.

"The attacks in Paris confirmed our worst fears: ISIS can and will use refugee movement to infiltrate countries they wish to do harm," said Carter. “I refuse to sit idly by and expose the American people to what amounts to no less than a Trojan horse.  While we are a nation of immigrants and we lead the world in humanitarian assistance, the Obama Administration’s own officials have confirmed that the federal government does not have the ability to conduct thorough background checks on all of the refugees that the Administration plans to allow into our nation."

FBI Director James Comey stated, "we can only query against that which we have collected. And so if someone has not made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interests reflected in our databases, we can query our databases until the cows come home but nothing will show up because we have no record of that person."

"The number one responsibility of the federal government is to provide for the common defense,” Carter said. "It is clear allowing refugees into our nation right now is playing a dangerous game with the safety of the American people.  As our Commander in Chief continues to flounder on a strategy to destroy ISIS, this legislation is critical to ensure threats are kept out of our homeland.”

Carter is a cosponsor of H.R. 4038, the SAFE Act. Additionally, Carter sent a letter to both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry this week urging the administration to immediately halt admissions of refugees from the conflict areas into the United States. Click here to view or download a copy of the letter.

Since March 2011 when the crisis in Syria began, some 2,228 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the United States including 66 who were resettled in Georgia. 
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