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CAIR Decries Bill Halting Resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi Refugees

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/20/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today decried a bill passed yesterday by the House that would effectively halt President Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees.

The American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015 was approved by the House in a veto-proof majority vote, 289-137, despite the White House’s threat to reject the measure.

CAIR has also issued an action alert calling on the Senate to reject the act.

SEE: Action Alert: Tell Congress to Reject ‘Reckless’ Bill Moving In Congress After Paris Attacks

In a statement CAIR said:

“CAIR rejects the misleadingly-named American SAFE Act of 2015 and considers the bill to be the result of a panicked induced response to recent Daesh (ISIS) attacks in Paris. We are calling on the Senate to reject this act and instead determine how we as a nation can work to provide greater assistance to refugees of all conflicts, including Syrians and Iraqis.

“Syrian refugees are the first victims of ISIS’s terrorism and should not be made to suffer any more delays in their perilous journey to find shelter and safety. We should be ashamed that some of our representatives in Congress used the tragedy in Paris to spread doubt about our government’s own ability to process Syrian refugees.

“The attacks in Paris were actually conducted by European nationals and ISIS terrorists who hid among Syrian refugees. This act is a solution to a problem that does not exist.

“Syrian and Iraqi refugees entering the United States undergo one of the world’s most demanding background and security screenings – a review that usually takes up to two years and involves approval from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, Department of Defense, and other agencies.

“This measure’s burdensome review process has been designed with the sole purpose of ‘halting’ the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees as new screening and approval programs would have to be established to comply with the act.

“CAIR is opposed to this act because no top agency official would ever submit  to such a certification process or take personal responsibly for the actions of every refugee resettled in the United States over the course of their lifetimes.â€

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171,

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