Contact your member of Congress if s/he voted against refugees to register your complaint – see the list and then ensure you inform your Senator of your stance for the widows and orphans of Syria and Iraq!
By Melanie Nathan, November 22, 2015.
A discriminatory bill that purports to expand background checks on Iraqi and Syrian refugees hoping to enter the United States has moved quickly through congressional procedures. H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies SAFE Act, received a House vote on November 19, just two days after it was introduced. The vote succeeded 289-137 with almost all Republicans and 47 turncoat Democrats voting in favor. President Barack Obama has said he would veto the bill if it also passes the Senate. This Bill is anything but SAFE! Its is nothing but a political red herring that hurts more than just our reputation as a freedom loving country.
When Democrats turn and vote the way the 47 did, we can be assured that we either have a lot of very ignorant representatives in Congress, or a bunch of religious bigots, aiding and abetting the Republicans to ensure that we are no longer a country at the helm of humanitarian deeds, but rather a country gripped by fear and knee jerk political reactivity.
Millions of refugees from Syria and Iraq have been forced out of their homes as a result of the ongoing civil war in Syria and militarization by the Islamic State (ISIS). Many of these refugees hope to find sanctuary in the United States and European countries. Under existing law, the United States vets refugees for eighteen months to two years prior to allowing refugees to enter the country. If enacted, this bill would likely pause the screening process, while new background check procedures are developed, and then lengthen the time the screening process takes. Given the current protocol, it is simply outrageous and will likely bring the Syrian and Iraqi refugee resettlement to a grinding halt.
H.R. 4038 purports to expand the screening process for those refugees attempting to enter the United States by requiring the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct its own background checks in addition to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS). Any refugee would be prohibited from entry until the FBI certifies that they pose no security threat. Refugees would only be admitted with the unanimous agreement of the FBI, DHS, and Director of National Intelligence. This will do nothing more than we are already doing, except hold up the process for individuals who really do not need any extra level of scrutiny. What a waste of our time and money.
The bill was introduced by House Republicans after a report that an individual who participated in the Nov. 13 attack on Paris used a Syrian passport and matched fingerprints with someone who entered through Greece in October.
House Republicans wrote in a summary of the bill:”Top Administration counter-terrorism and security officials have repeatedly told Congress that the current refugee vetting process is insufficient to ensure terrorists are not admitted as refugees,”
Republicans proposed SAFE ACT on the phony belief that the bill will prevent possible attacks from occurring within the United States. Yet it is now clear that the attackers in Paris were primarily of French and Belgian nationality, despite the use of the Syrian passport, who were linked to a branch of ISIS. Surely the turncoat Democrats can now see the folly in such legislation. It is more likely that we will see terrorism from within and from home grown terrorists which is exactly what just happened in Paris.
In fact the media has helped to create a false notion of what it is like for refugees coming to the USA and our Congress seems to be ignorantly caught up in the imagery the media has presented. Refugees coming to the USA do not get to cross over in the tens of thousands like we have been seeing on TV. It does not work like that. Unlike Europe we have the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as an enormous barrier. Admittance of refugees into the USA is quite different from the flood of refugees pouring into Europe. See the infographic below.
The entire process and logistics make it impossible for thousands of refugees to simply walk in. Yet TV makes it seem that the latter will occur. Given the protocol and arduous process it is unlikely that a terrorist would even risk trying to be a refugee. Firstly a refugee has no choice as to country of resettlement. Secondly it takes well into the 2 years for UNHCR to determine – together with several countries – which country a particular refugee will be allocated.
Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD5) noted that current vetting process is just fine:
“The bill rests on a faulty assumption that the European refugee screening process is similar to the United States screening process. This is entirely inaccurate,” he wrote in today’s Daily Whip.
Rather than improve security, Hoyer said that H.R. 4038 would prevent refugees from entering the country by making the vetting process overly inefficient. He described the bill as a “knee-jerk reaction” to a situation in Europe dissimilar to our own. Even with Democratic leadership against the bill, one-fourth of Democrats still voted to pass it in the House vote.
I hope you join me by sending your representative in Congress a message and also that you reach out to your Senators expressing your concern about this legislation. It is clear that they are overriding the real issues with this so called ‘SAFE’ Act – a mythological acronym. I fear that it will create a false sense of security, serving to brush the real issues facing us under the rug. This is the message I am in the process of sending to each and every one of the 47 Democrats:
SHAME ON YOU for voting for the so called SAFE ACT – You have voted against our American values. You have voted against Democrat Party values and unity. You have voted contrary to the President’s advisory – who is much more informed on the issue than you! This anti-refugee legislation will make NOT make America any safer. If anything it’s a red herring that creates a false sense of safety on the backs of widows and orphans. If you know anything about the refugee process and had any understanding about your own country you would be aware of the following:
1) UNHCR and a multitude of USA agencies put refugees through an enormous amount of scrutiny. The scrutiny is much more intense than for any single visa process. It takes at least 18 months to 2 years to go through. Also refugees have no idea where they will be sent at least a year into the process! No terrorist would be stupid enough to come into the USA as a refugee. It is much more effective and easier for them to get in on a student, visitor or business visa and they have the money and set up to do it; AND
2) The greater dangers are from within the USA itself – the KKK – white supremacists and the Tim McVeighs of the USA. Poverty is the problem that will result in home grown terrorism and therein lies our biggest danger.
If you believe there are holes in our refugee resettlement process system – why was there no fix before this? The United States has one of the most arduous and strict screening processes available, without this new insidious legislation. Congress and your energy would have been much better spent on legislation that helps to reduce poverty within the USA. A satisfied populace will not breed the ‘home-growns’ we are now bound to face.
This vote is one of anti-Muslim discrimination, ignorance of our process and knee jerk politics. Where do you fall into this picture?
You will now stand in history as punishing the very victims of our mutual enemy. These refugees comprise several religious minorities, LGBT people and others impacted by the tyranny of extremists from whom they escape religious, ethnic, gender and sexual persecution.
This legislation does nothing more than choose ignorance, racism and political wedging above humanity and efficiency!
SHAME ON YOU!
Melanie Nathan, Executive Director, African Human Rights Coalition,
@______________ (tweet) SHAME ON YOU legisl on the backs of widows orphans is not #SAFE or expedient http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2015/11/21/help-to-express-outrage-as-47-turncoat-democrats-vote-against-syrian-women-and-orphan-refugees/ #REFUGEESWELCOME
These Democrats allowed themselves to get hauled into a vote on minimal notice and were suckered into the Republican narrative, without doing extensive research. That one terrorist in Paris turned us against refugees is a sign of cowardice and gives the terrorists the upper hand, a victory. We have allowed them to further victimize the most vulnerable victims of ISIS murderous campaign. I am ashamed of these Democrats – truly ashamed!
HERE IS THE LIST OF the 47 turncoat Democrats:
- Rep. Pete Aguilar (Calif.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Brad Ashford (Neb.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Ami Bera (Calif.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Sanford Bishop (Ga.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Julia Brownley (Calif.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. John Carney (Del.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Joe Courtney (Conn.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. John Delaney (Md.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. John Garamendi (Calif.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Gwen Graham (Fla.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Gene Green (Texas) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Janice Hahn (Calif.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Jim Himes (Conn.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Bill Keating (Mass.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (N.H.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Jim Langevin (R.I.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Dave Loebsack (Iowa) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Stephen Lynch (Mass.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Sean Maloney (N.Y.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Patrick Murphy (Fla.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Rick Nolan (Minn.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Donald Norcross (N.J.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Scott Peters (Calif.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Jared Polis (Colo.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Kathleen Rice (N.Y.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Raul Ruiz (Calif.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. David Scott (Ga.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Terri Sewell (Ala.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Marc Veasey (Texas) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Filemon Vela (Texas) Twitter|Facebook
- Rep. Tim Walz (Minn.) Twitter|Facebook
EDUCATE YOURSELF at Center for American Progress website. Here is the Process for screening of refugees before entry into the USA: