Home Bob Goodlatte: Protecting America’s safety

Bob Goodlatte: Protecting America’s safety


goodlattefourinThe American people watched in horror as one of our oldest allies was rocked by a series of ISIS terrorist attacks just days ago. It was a stark reminder that ISIS poses a real threat to our allies and America. However, this reality is not clearly seen by our President. The Administration’s failed foreign policy in the Middle East, and failure to take the ISIS threat seriously, are responsible for the flood of Syrians currently leaving their country. We all remember when the President told us that ISIS was the “jayvee team.” Now, that jayvee team, including at least one terrorist registered as a refugee from Syria, murdered at least 120 innocent people in Paris.

The United States already has the most generous refugee policies in the world, and the Administration must ensure that those seeking refuge here do not pose national security threats. ISIS has made clear their intentions to use the refugee system to gain access to America. Disturbingly enough, top Administration security officials have told Congress that the refugee vetting process is not adequate. But, President Obama continues to move forward with his plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. over the coming year.

That’s why the Judiciary Committee, which I chair, has led the way in efforts to force the Administration to properly vet any refugees from Syria and Iraq. Just this week, the Committee held a hearing on the Syrian refugee crisis, and on the same day we pushed legislation on the House floor that will require the Administration to certify refugees from Syria and Iraq are not threats to national security, which passed with strong, bipartisan support.

This legislation is not is not meant to be the sole solution to the security problems we face in vetting Syrians and other refugees. Even before the Paris attacks, the Judiciary Committee was hard at work on legislation to make necessary security-related and other changes to the refugee program. However, the legislation passed by the House is an important first step. The primary duty of the federal government is to keep Americans safe, and it has become clear that we need to hit pause on the President’s plan.

Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth District of Virginia in Congress.



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