Congressman Collins: We Must Put Our National Security First


March 16, 2016

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Judiciary Committee marked up H.R. 4731, the “Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act of 2016”, which makes meaningful reforms to the United States’ refugee program. The bill was reported favorably out of committee by a 18-9 vote. Congressman Collins, a cosponsor of H.R. 4731, issued the following statement after the markup:

“These commonsense reforms to our refugee resettlement program will prevent exploitation from bad actors seeking to take advantage of American compassion. We must put our national security first, and set parameters to prevent the refugee system from being abused. Under current law, the President has full discretion to set the refugee cap. H.R. 4731 moves that authority to Congress by statutorily setting the refugee ceiling at 60,000 per year, which Congress can choose to adjust based on recommendations from the White House. Under the bill, without Congressional approval, that number cannot be adjusted.”

“We also must empower states and localities to determine on their own if they are able and willing to accommodate refugees. Under this bill, state and local governments will be allowed to refuse attempts by the Administration to resettle refugees in their communities.”

“Additionally, it requires the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to implement a strong fraud detection program for documents, and more transparent screening procedures those seeking refuge in this country, including reviewing social media postings of applicants. If violence from groups like ISIS is going to continue, we need a tough screening process to adequately vet those fleeing terrorism, and make sure that those we allow here truly meet the standards set for admittance as refugees and do not pose a threat to American values.”


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