by Phil Roe, U. S. Representative, 1st District of Tennessee- Last Friday, radical Islamic
French authorities are still investigating Friday’s horrible attack, but they believe at least one of the terrorists entered France by posing as a Syrian refugee. I understand the situation in Syria is dire, but our first, most important duty is to keep American citizens safe. I’ve had concerns about the vetting process for Syrian refugees entering the country since the president announced the U.S. would accept 10,000 refugees starting in October, which is why I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3314, the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act. The bill prohibits the administration from allowing refugees into the United States until Congress passes a joint resolution allowing the federal government to resume admitting refugees. We cannot be certain each refugee entering the U.S. from Syria has been thoroughly and properly vetted, and we cannot risk opening ourselves up to another attack.
Additionally, I’ve signed a letter led by Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) to House leadership encouraging that the House move quickly to take up a solution to this serious issue. I am also pleased the House voted on a bill to pause the president’s plan to resettle Syrian refugees in the U.S. until we have more certainty about the vetting process. While I have doubts we can achieve the level of vetting necessary, I’m glad we’re taking steps to put the president’s plan on hold.
I was also pleased to see Tennessee leaders express similar concerns. Governor Haslam said on Monday that he was working with the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to share relevant information with public safety partners across the state. The governor also requested the federal government to suspend refugee placement in the state of Tennessee. Similarly, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and State House Speaker Beth Harwell also requested a halt to all refugee placements, which is what H.R. 3314 would do.