Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cohen: Maintain “Core Humanitarian Values” on Syrian Refugees

Congressman offers alternative to severe restrictions passed by House.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 3:11 PM

click to enlarge Rep. Cohen
  • Rep. Cohen


On Thursday, a day that the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives steered to passage a bill shutting out Syrian refugees unless the heads of federal intelligence agencies personally vouch for each would-be entrant, Memphis congressman Steve Cohen introduced a counter-measure.

It is passed on here as a statement relevant to the national debate going on in the wake of last Friday’s ISIS attacks in Paris:


Congressman Cohen’s Statement on Allowing Syrian Refugees into the United States

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today released the following statement regarding allowing Syrian refugees into the United States.

“As a Member of Congress, my first responsibility is to protect the American people and do everything it takes to keep our country safe,” said Congressman Cohen. “We must ensure that not only refugees from Syria and Iraq, but also refugees from every country are subject to a rigorous screening process that ensures no terrorist or criminals are allowed access to the United States. We can do this while also maintaining our core humanitarian values. The House bill passed today is instead nothing more than a political attack on President Obama and does nothing to make us safer from terrorist or criminal threats. The House should work in a bipartisan fashion to appropriately address loop holes in our current visa programs, including the visa waiver program, which would be more likely to threaten our national security, as well as stop individuals on the terrorism watch list from buying guns and explosives.”

Congressman Cohen cosponsored a Democratic alternative bill that would have required checks and certifications for all refuges instead of just from Iraq and Syria. It would also ensure no person is admitted to the U.S. until his or her identity has been established and vetted against all security databases, such as the FBI, the Department of Defense, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department. The bill was defeated on a procedural vote 180-244.



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