Murphy: “Keeping Connecticut families safe is my number one priority. This is a scary time, and I understand why the threats we face today feel so close to home. ISIS is evil, and confronting such evil requires a global coalition that will not rest until the threat is gone. Unfortunately, the bill brought before the Senate today does literally nothing to make us safer, which is why I voted against it.”
Report by Paula Antolini
January 20, 2016 6:47 PM EDT
Sen. Murphy Statement on Vote Against Bill Closing Door to Refugees
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn), Ranking Member of U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, released the following statement after voting against the motion to proceed to H.R. 4038.
“Keeping Connecticut families safe is my number one priority. This is a scary time, and I understand why the threats we face today feel so close to home. ISIS is evil, and confronting such evil requires a global coalition that will not rest until the threat is gone. Unfortunately, the bill brought before the Senate today does literally nothing to make us safer, which is why I voted against it.
“The U.S. must take the fight to ISIS through airstrikes and by supporting ground troops made up of local forces. But beating ISIS also means helping our partners in the Middle East deal with the crushing burden of helping those are fleeing the terror, torture, rape, and mutilation that has become ISIS’s trade. When I was in the Middle East last fall, I heard firsthand how U.S. credibility was being harmed by our refusal to help resettle refugees fleeing ISIS’s brutality. Yes, the United States should have a high, high bar for those that we bring to our country—but we already apply the tightest screening to refugees of any immigrants to the United States, and this program will continue to be vigilant about screening out anyone who poses a potential risk to the homeland.
“But instead of addressing genuine security concerns, H.R. 4038 was designed with one goal in mind: to bring the refugee process to an end. More than a year of interviews and background checks already make coming to the United States as a refugee the most difficult and time-consuming way to get into this country. Instead of scapegoating refugees, the Senate should be considering bipartisan measures to authorize the war against ISIS, cure security gaps in our broader immigration system, and keep weapons away from suspected terrorists.”
The Defeat ISIS and Protect and Secure the United States Act of 2015 would keep America safe by:
- Creating a new stabilization fund for Jordan and Lebanon to help those fleeing the conflict in Syria stay in the region;
- Authorizing the United States to improve migrant screening in Europe by providing technical and operational assistance;
- Developing a comprehensive strategy to counter ISIS propaganda and counter violent extremism abroad;
- Imposing tough new sanctions on financial institutions knowingly processing financial transactions for ISIS;
- Preventing known or suspected terrorists from buying guns in the United States;
- Strengthening aviation security by improving screening technology, training and vetting of airport workers;
- Further strengthening the visa waiver program;
- Helping states and local law enforcement train and properly respond to an active shooter attack.