Foster votes with House majority against halting refugee flow into U.S.
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) voted with the majority late last week against the American SAFE Act of 2015 (H.R. 4038), which would have temporarily halted any refugees from entering the U.S.
Following the vote, Foster released a statement on his decision.
“Our first priority is to always keep Americans safe,” Foster said. “I am disappointed that this legislation was not a serious attempt to address security concerns, but is instead a political football that would not improve the security of vetting systems already in place.”
Foster said the bill was crafted to essentially set unworkable standards that could only be met by shutting out Syrian refugees.
“The vast majority of these people are fleeing ISIS,” Foster said. “These are the families that have chosen to not live under terror and violence. Yes, they need to be screened before entering the U.S., and the administration has in place a time-consuming and thorough process involving multiple intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including the National Counterterrorism Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Departments of Homeland Security, State and Defense.“
Currently, refugees who want to enter the U.S. must undergo a lengthy screening process, which in many cases takes up to two years. Foster said the nation must remain serious regarding security concerns, especially in the wake of the attacks in Paris, but warned against the creation of new policy that would block all immigrants.
“I hope that we can move past the harmful rhetoric and fearmongering, and toward a thoughtful debate with our intelligence community on what more can be done to ensure a workable refugee-intake system while continuing to take every precaution to ensure our safety,” Foster said.
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