Citing Houston Case, Cornyn Presses Democrats to Move Forward on Refugee Screening Bill


In: All News   Posted 01/20/2016
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‘Our chief goal in this legislation is pretty simple. It's to make sure that we're doing everything we can to prevent terrorists from entering the country.’

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) urged Senate Democrats to not block the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act, legislation ensuring terrorists are not able exploit our country’s refugee program.

Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video can be found here.

“America's the most open, welcoming country in the world because we recognize this is a source of our great strength. The brains, the ambition, and the hard work that go together with people who are unhappy with their current circumstance and are looking to live the American dream … I think is something to be applauded and celebrated.”

“All we're asking for and all this legislation provides for – passed by a bipartisan vote of the House of Representatives – is to enhance the screening of refugees so that this system cannot be exploited by terrorists, a tactic that ISIS has encouraged.”

“This legislation doesn't close the door to refugees or go back on America's great traditions and who we are as a people. All it does is add safeguards to our refugee admissions process and updates it in light of the threats we currently face.”

“Our chief goal in this legislation is pretty simple. It's to make sure that we're doing everything we can to prevent terrorists from entering the country.”

“Why would our friends across the aisle want to filibuster this legislation … and deny us an opportunity to actually debate the legislation?”

“Earlier this year in Houston, a man born in Iraq [who] entered the country as a refugee was later charged with providing material support to ISIS.”

“And just last week, it was reported his plans included setting off bombs at two popular malls in Houston, Texas.”

“What it should tell us is we better be darned sure that whoever comes in through the refugee system has been adequately vetted to protect innocent, potential victims here in the United States.”

“This is not a theoretical problem, and Congress has the opportunity to act to try to enhance public safety. So knowing all this, it's baffling to hear the discussion among our Democratic colleagues that they may not even allow us to get on the bill this afternoon.”