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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

UPDATED Bilirakis Applauds House Passage of SAFE Act

November 19, 2015
Press Release

The U.S. House of Representatives today advanced legislation to address the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the issue of our national security.

H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, prevents admission to the United States of any proposed Syrian or Iraqi refugee, or any proposed refugee, until the nation’s top security officials—the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence— unanimously certify that the individual does not represent a security threat.

This legislation requires the FBI’s direct role in certifying these background checks, thereby ensuring dangerous individuals are kept out of our country. Moreover, no Syrian or Iraqi refugee will be allowed to enter until Congress receives these certifications.

“As elected officials, we have the responsibility to do everything we can to protect our nation,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “The SAFE Act puts in place a robust, extensive vetting and monitoring process to identify individuals who pose a security threat. It fulfils our promise to the American people that we are working diligently to prevent terrorists from reaching our shores.”

“I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this legislation that will help keep our families and loved ones safe,” added Bilirakis. “This issue is not a partisan one.  Our national security is a priority on which we all agree.”

Bilirakis recently signed a letter to President Obama to encourage the administration to immediately halt refugee admissions until such thorough vetting and monitoring processes for all relocated refugees are in place.

Bilirakis also re-introduced the Student Visa Security Improvement Act to further address potential threats to our national security.

“It is clear there are significant gaps and vulnerabilities that must be addressed in our student visa program,” said Bilirakis. “This important measure would ensure foreign students and exchange visitors enter the country for legitimate purposes. It would provide additional scrutiny for applicants, and put mechanisms into place to ensure students are attending classes in which they are enrolled. We must be able to track all visa visitors, including foreign students, and ensure they are in this country for their intended purpose rather than nefarious activity against U.S. citizens. My legislation will safeguard our universities, communities, and our nation.”