Frelinghuysen applauds House passage of "Security Against Foreign Enemies" (SAFE) Act

WASHNGTON, D.C.– U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) today applauded House passage of legislation which suspends the flow of Syrian refugees into the U.S. until the refugees can be properly and thoroughly vetted.

“Our federal government has no greater responsibility than keeping Americans safe,” said Frelinghuysen, the Chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. “Knowing that our nation has a proud tradition of opening its arms to those in need, terrorists will certainly attempt to take advantage of our compassion.  We cannot allow ISIS infiltration through our refugee assistance program.” 

Frelinghuysen co-sponsored and voted for the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act (H.R. 4038).  The measure prevents admission to the United States of any potential 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 certify that the individual does not represent a security threat.

“Tens of thousands of people are now streaming out of Syria into Europe,” he said. “Reliable intelligence is unavailable on many of these refugees. After five years of brutal civil war, Syria is an ungoverned area. So how do you vet individuals from a war-torn country that has few criminal and terrorist databases to check? Records do not exist there.”

“House approval of the SAFE Act is another step toward enhancing American security.  There will be more.  Today, it is simply prudent that this program be suspended for people leaving the Syrian war zone until we can be sure that the Obama Administration has installed a robust screening process and we receive strong assurances of safety from our law enforcement and intelligence officials and our allies.”