Rep. LaMalfa Votes to Halt Resettlement Program for Iraq and Syria

Nov 19, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) today voted in favor of H.R. 4038, a bill he cosponsored to halt the resettlement of Iraqis and Syrians in the United States until the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Director of National Intelligence can certify that every refugee has been thoroughly vetted and is not a security threat. The House acted rapidly to pass the bill after one of the perpetrators of the Paris terror attacks was found to have infiltrated Europe with refugees fleeing strife in Syria and Iraq.

“The United States is one of the most generous countries in the world in terms of resettling refugees, admitting immigrants, and providing humanitarian assistance.  We know that terrorists have exploited the generosity of our European allies, and now more than ever the security of our country must be our top priority,” said LaMalfa. “The heads of both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have testified that we lack the means to safely screen refugees. If our leading intelligence and law enforcement officials cannot verify that foreigners claiming refugee status are not a security risk, then we have no choice but to halt this program.”

The measure addressed security gaps highlighted by testimony from FBI Director James Comey, who told the House Committee on Homeland Security that federal agencies lack the data needed to properly screen those applying for refugee status. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson also testified about the lack of information on refugee applicants, stating that “one of the challenges we will have is that we’re not going to know a whole lot about the individual refugees”.

In addition to co-sponsoring and voting in favor of H.R. 4038, which passed the House on a vote of 289-137, Rep. Doug LaMalfa has also taken the following steps to address the security risks involved with the refugee resettlement program:

  • Co-sponsored H.R. 3314, the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act of 2015 which places a moratorium on the admission of refugees into the United States until Congress reviews and approves the program.
  • Co-sponsored H.R. 4032, which ensures states have the right to refuse to accept refugees under the resettlement program.
  • Co-signed a letter with 110 Members of Congress urging the Obama Administration to halt the resettlement of Syrians and Iraqis until we have assurances these individuals will not be a security threat.

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.