Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Congresswoman Brown on Syrian refugees

Here is what Congresswoman Brown had to say about offering refuge to Syrians:

“The horrific attacks in Paris and the inhuman violence forcing millions of Syrian families to flee their homes in search of safety is a serious challenge for our nation and world.  While we must ensure any prospective-refugee receives the most rigorous scrutiny and screening, it would be outright inhumane to slam the door in the face of desperate mothers seeking a safe place for their children.   And I believe that the United States, as a leader of the international community, has an obligation to protect civilians, particularly women and children, fleeing war and persecution.  Indeed, upholding the basic principles of human rights is an integral part of our beliefs as a nation.       

Moreover, since October 2013, only about 2,100 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the United States; and 98 in the state of Florida.  The U.S. government thoroughly screens refugees before they are admitted to the U.S., using an intense, deliberate process.  Several federal agencies, including the State Department, Homeland Security, Defense Department, National Counterterrorism Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are involved.  And before approval, all applicants from Syria, just like refugees from any nation worldwide seeking refuge in the U.S., are subjected to this rigorous scrutiny and an intensive screening process that takes, on average, between 18 and 24 months.  As a nation, the United States is able to welcome desperate, vulnerable families while at the same time ensuring our own security.  As Americans, we should not simply turn our backs on refugees fleeing the same senseless violence we witnessed in Paris.  Indeed, preserving the safety of Florida’s residents and providing refuge for Syrians fleeing horrific violence are not mutually exclusive actions.”

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