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Quigley Continues to Support Syrian Refugee Resettlement

Dec 8, 2015
Press Release
Rejects attempts to use omnibus to block acceptance of refugees and calls for increase in funding for screening and resettlement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), showed support for the continued acceptance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by signing on to three separate letters that  reject attempts to use critical year-end spending legislation to block the acceptance of refugees and encourage additional funding specific to refugee resettlement in order to make the processing of refugee applications more efficient.

“Americans are understandably concerned about their safety following the recent devastating terrorist attacks in Paris and mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. But as President Obama stressed in is his speech to the nation Sunday night, we cannot betray our values and turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam,” said Rep. Quigley. “In response to the growing threat, we must ensure that our screening procedures for anyone coming to this country, including refugees, are as strong and secure as possible. That is why I am calling for additional funding in the omnibus specific to refugee resettlement. However, I will continue to urge my colleagues to keep controversial changes to the refugee screening and resettlement policies out of the omnibus. It is neither the time nor the place to insert broad changes to the program where they cannot be properly debated or amended. And as the president said, it is the responsibility of Muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas that lead to radicalization, just as it is the responsibility of all Americans – of every faith – to reject discrimination.

Rep. Quigley signed onto a letter led by Rep. John Delaney (MD-06) to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to encourage additional funding specific to refugee resettlement. The U.S. has a thorough system in place for screening the refugees and additional funding would help make the processing of refugee applications even more secure. Programs that need additional funding include the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Rep Quigley signed onto a similar letter led by Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51) to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (KY-05) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (NY-17) to provide sufficient funding to meet the needs of refugee assistance and resettlement programs for FY16.

Finally, Rep. Quigley joined a letter with Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02) opposing controversial riders regarding Syrian refugees in FY16 omnibus. The letter points out that adding policy changes to the year-end spending bill would eliminate the opportunity to properly debate or amend the language.

In September, Rep. Quigley joined with 70 House colleagues in urging President Obama to resettle at least 100,000 refugees from the ongoing conflict in Syria. He also joined 54 House members in urging the president to call for international negotiations to bring an end to the conflict in Syria. As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), Rep. Quigley believes government has both the capability and responsibility to play a crucial role in protecting our nation’s security and protecting the civil liberties of its citizens. He continues to build a record as an advocate for public safety and national security issues, a guardian of civil liberties, and a champion of government transparency and accountability.