Alabama delegation unified in vote restricting Syrian refugees

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Alabama lawmakers, both Republicans and sole democrat Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), are a united front when it comes restricting Syrian refugees. At least when it came to Thursday’s U.S. House of Representatives‘ vote to restrict the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S.

The legislation, H.R. 4038: the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act, proposed in response to last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris passed the House 289 to 137.

The White House argued in a statement the bill provides “no meaningful additional security for the American people” and will only create “significant delays and obstacles in the fulfillment of a vital program that satisfies both humanitarian and national security objectives.” President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill.

However, the bill — aimed at strengthening screenings for Syrian and Iraqi refugees who want to enter the United States adds stricter requirements for refugees, including FBI background checks and mandates that the heads of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security — passed with a veto-proof majority, much to the President’s chagrin.

The bill goes to the Senate next, where it may face a tougher path to passage.

Here’s what Alabama lawmakers are saying about their votes for the SAFE Act:

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01):

I’m committed to doing everything in my power to stop the Syrian refugee resettlement program. The bill that passed the House today would require the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence to all certify that each individual refugee does not represent a security threat before any refugee can be allowed into the United States. As some Democrats point out, this bill would delay the Syrian refugee process for at least two years.

Today’s bill is just the start of a larger response to the Syrian refugee crisis. I will continue to push the House to pass my bill, which would defund the Syrian refugee resettlement program and ensure no Syrian refugees enter the United States. The national security of the American people must always be our top priority.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-03):

I strongly oppose President Obama’s reckless plan to allow thousands of refugees from Syria and regions controlled by ISIS into the U.S. ISIS is currently using the refugee crisis as a pipeline to move Islamic terrorists into Europe.Especially after the attacks in Paris, we cannot and will not risk our national security for the sake of misplaced compassion and allow this Islamic terrorist pipeline to reach the United States.  

This bill is the first step in the process to halt the Administration’s actions.Additionally, I plan to oppose any funding for President Obama’s refugee program when Congress considers the year’s final appropriations bill in December.

This story may be updated.

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