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We Must Not Turn our Backs on the World’s Refugees

Nov 17, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) issued the following statement in response to various calls to suspend efforts to accept Syrian refugees:

“In the midst of a global refugee crisis, we cannot turn our backs on the world’s refugees.  Millions of Syrians are fleeing the very violence and depravity in their war-torn home country that we saw on gruesome display in Paris on Friday, the 13th.  Rather than betraying our values, we must continue to focus on the most effective tools to keep us safe while also providing refuge for the world’s most vulnerable.

“Refugees are more thoroughly vetted than any other traveler or immigrant to the United States.  We rely on methodical and exhaustive background checks (18 - 24 months on average and longer in many cases) performed by the Departments of Homeland Security and State, in conjunction with the CIA, FBI, and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies.  We should not let kneejerk reactions keep us from being a beacon of hope for Syrian refugees and other refugees in the Middle East, Africa, and around the world.  Doing anything different would not only be turning our back on the world’s refugees, but also on our own proud of history of providing safe haven.”

114th Congress