The Obama administration vows to veto any House bill that requires additional checks of Syrian refugees, saying such a bill would “hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world.”
One such bill, introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), would require the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence to certify each refugee coming from Iraq or Syria that they do not present a threat to national security.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill, dubbed “The American SAFE Act of 2015” on Thursday.
But the Obama administration argues that there is already enough security screening for refugees, warning that it would delay the already lengthy process. “The substantive result sought through this draft legislation is already embedded into the program,” the statement from the White House read.
President Obama has argued that blocking Syrian refugees would be counter to American values, and aid recruitment by radical terrorist organizations. “Of the 2,174 Syrian refugees admitted to the United States since September 11, 2001, not a single one has been arrested or deported on terrorism-related grounds,” the statement said.
A document of Homeland Security talking points obtained by Breitbart News echoed the administration’s concerns, arguing that the bill would effectively shut down any refugee resettlement from Iraq or Syria.
“While the certification requirement may appear reasonable, it would effectively shut down the refugee resettlement program in Syria and Iraq, possible for years while such a system is set up,” the alking points read.
Other talking points warn that the proposed bill “risks repeating mistakes of the past when the United States tragicly turned away Jewish refugees in World War II.”
“We should not let knee-jerk reactions keep us from being a beacon of hope for Syrian and other refugees in the Middle East, Africa, and around the world,” the document read. “The Republican bill dishonors our proud history of providing safe haven.”
But McCaul argued that additional security is needed, particularly after the terrorist attacks in Paris. “America has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees into our country, and we lead the world in humanitarian assistance. However, we also must put proper measures in place to ensure our country’s safety,” McCaul said.
The legislative saber-rattling ensures that even if Republicans pass the legislation through Congress, Obama will veto it. Democrats legislators have lined up with Obama, so the GOP is unlikely to get a super-majority to override his veto.