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Boozman, Cotton Call for Temporary Moratorium on U.S. Acceptance of Syrian Refugees

November 16, 2015

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 224-2353

Washington, D.C.- Arkansas's two United States Senators, Tom Cotton and John Boozman, today called for a new policy on Syrian refugee resettlement in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

Specifically, Cotton and Boozman are calling for:
· a temporary moratorium on resettlement;
· a report to Congress from the President that evaluates security vetting procedures for refugees; and
· a requirement that the President certify the integrity of the security vetting process as a condition of lifting the moratorium.

"The United States has a long history of accepting refugees fleeing from war torn countries like Syria. However, as we learn more about the Paris terror attacks, Arkansans are rightfully concerned that the Obama administration does not have an effective plan to protect Americans here at home," Boozman said. "The one thing the federal government has to do is ensure national security. The administration must be able to assure Americans with confidence that those being given sanctuary are not coming here as threats to the U.S. The confidence of the American people that the government is taking the proper steps to ensure their protection simply isn't there."

"The American people have long demonstrated unmatched compassion for the world's persecuted and endangered. But when bringing refugees to our shores, the U.S. government must put the security of Arkansans and all Americans first. No terrorist should be able to take advantage of the refugee process to threaten the United States," said Cotton. "Before moving forward with the president's plan to expand refugee admissions from Syria, the security screening process for refugees must be evaluated and strengthened where any gaps exist. Furthermore, the United States's reliance on the United Nations for referrals of Syrian refugees should also be re-evaluated. That reliance unintentionally discriminates against Syrian Christians and other religious minorities who are reluctant to register as refugees with the United Nations for fear of political and sectarian retribution."

Cotton and Boozman pledge to work closely and quickly with the President and their colleagues in Congress to improve the U.S.'s refugee resettlement system and protect the safety of Arkansans and all Americans.