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Congressman Garret Graves

Representing the 6th District of Louisiana

Graves Leads Louisiana Effort in US House to Stop Influx of Syrian Refugees

November 18, 2015
Press Release

 Washington, D.C. – Louisiana Congressmen Garret Graves, Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D., John Fleming, M.D. and Ralph Abraham, M.D. have introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to suspend the domestic influx of refugees from Syria until proper mechanisms are in place to verify that each refugee arriving does not pose a threat to the national security of the United States. Senator David Vitter introduced yesterday the Senate companion to the House bill. Louisiana's House delegation will collectively push this critical bill to help expedite its approval and enactment.
“This legislation is about protecting the American people. The fact that we don’t have systems in place to properly vet these victims as they come across our border is an absolute failure of the Departments of State and Homeland Security and a disservice to the refugees of Syria,” said Graves. “I want to be clear – America has a role to play in aiding these victims of war, but we should not be choosing the safety and security of Syrian refugees over the safety and security of the American people. With proper vetting, we can have both. Until we can demonstrate the ability to verify each refugee’s background and intention, there should not be one more admission into the United States.” 

Congressional pressure calling on President Obama to halt his plan to admit as many as 10,000 refugees has increased after it was confirmed that at least one of the terrorists involved in last Friday’s Paris attacks entered France posing as a Syrian refugee.

“While the United States is a kind and charitable nation, we are not naïve. President Obama has not demonstrated that he has a thorough and fail-proof system of background checks to prevent terrorists from reaching our shores through the refugee program. Until then, I will advocate shutting down the admission of refugees from this region until we can look the American people in the eye and promise them they will be safe,” said Boustany. 

"Even as we desire to show compassion to Syrians who have been displaced by civil war and ISIS, we must not allow terrorists to exploit refugee resettlement programs, especially after the Obama Administration recently announced he would bring in 10,000 refugees by next year.  Until Congress can certify the backgrounds of all these refugees, we need to put a pause on the admission of any new refugees from the area.  The federal government must protect its citizens first,” said Fleming. 

"Not a single Syrian refugee should be allowed in this country and into Louisiana without us knowing the full extent of his or her background and associations. Without a more stringent vetting process of these refugees, we open ourselves to a potential terrorist attack, and I will not gamble with American lives. I commend Sen. David Vitter and Rep. Garret Graves for introducing this legislation, and I look forward to helping them pass this bill that is critical to our national security,” Dr. Abraham said.