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 Cook Votes To Strengthen Security Systems  




Washington D.C. ___ Today, Thursday November 19, 2015, Representative Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted for H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act. The Bill passed the House 289-137 with bipartisan support.

Senior U.S. Law enforcement and intelligence officials have previously expressed concern that they lack the information necessary to screen Syrian refugees to make sure they do not have ties to terrorism. The recent attacks in Paris showed weaknesses in security systems; at least one of the attackers reportedly infiltrated Europe by posing as a Syrian refugee.

The U.S. Administration admitted 1,682 Syrian refugees during fiscal year 2015, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that the U.S. will admit at least 10,000 during fiscal year 2016. 

HR 4038 prohibits the United States from admitting refugees from Iraq and Syria without a thorough security screening. Specifically, the Bill requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, FBI Director, and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to certify to Congress that each refugee is not a security threat prior to his or her admission to the United States. It also creates an additional layer of protection by requiring the DHS Inspector General to assess refugee approvals independently – ensuring that high risk individuals do not slip through the cracks.

Representative Cook said, “With the attacks in Paris, we’ve seen firsthand the dangers posed by terrorists posing as refugees. We need to remain vigilant in our screening process to ensure that we are verifying the backgrounds of the individuals and not allowing ISIS to exploit the system to plan attacks. We need to show the American people that we are doing everything possible to prevent an attack on U.S. soil.”