Brooks: First Priority is to Ensure the Safety and Security of the American People
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) voted in favor of H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015. The SAFE Act establishes the most robust national security vetting process in our nation’s history, providing the safeguards needed to ensure that we are doing everything possible to prevent terrorists and foreign fighters from reaching our shores.
“America leads the world in humanitarian assistance, and has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees to our country,” Brooks said. “However, our first priority is to ensure the safety and security of the American people. Our own intelligence shows that ISIS is seeking to exploit gaps in our process for refugees. Leaders of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the Intelligence Community have all testified that we do not have the necessary intelligence to properly vet refugees from Syria and Iraq. The SAFE Act makes sure that the refugee process is not exploited by terrorists and foreign fighters, but is able to facilitate the resettlement of individuals who are not a threat to the United States and who may be fleeing from terrorists in their home country.”
The SAFE Act bars admission to the United States of any proposed Syrian or Iraqi refugee until the nation’s top security officials—the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence—unanimously verify that the individual does not pose a security threat. Specifically, under this legislation, no refugee from Iraq or Syria will be admitted to the United States unless:
- the FBI director certifies to Congress the background investigation of each refugee; and
- the Secretary of Homeland Security, along with the FBI Director and the Director of National Intelligence, certifies to Congress that each refugee is not a security threat to the United States.
It also creates an additional layer of protection by requiring the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General to independently assess the refugee approvals—making sure high-risk individuals do not slip through the cracks.