Statement on Congressional Action on Refugees
November 19, 2015
SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 19, 2015) – Gov. Gary R. Herbert, issued the following statement regarding legislation expected to be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives:
“Today, I express my support for H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, which is being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives. The American SAFE Act increases the rigor of the screening process for refugees coming to the United States without instituting an outright ban. I believe these actions are necessary and in the best interest of Utahns.
“To protect public safety, the federal government must have a sufficient screening process in place to prevent terrorists from entering the country, while providing relief to those who are seeking asylum from violence and oppression. National security cannot be the sole responsibility of individual states and should not be a partisan issue. I am disappointed President Obama has threatened to veto this critical legislation.
“My first priority as governor is the safety and security of Utah residents. As Americans, we must remember that once a terrorist enters any one state, that person has effectively entered all 50 states. As the U.S. Constitution clearly indicates, national security must be the first priority of the federal government. With a vote expected on this legislation soon, I encourage all members of Utahâ€™s Congressional delegation to support its passage. I also encourage Congress to look at this issue comprehensively, acknowledging that terrorism knows no border nor nationality.
“The President working with the Congress, and our coalition partners around the world, must also address the root issues causing the out-migration of hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East: stamping out the threat that is ISIS and eradicating the cancer that is terrorism. Until these twin evils are addressed, people all over the world will continue to suffer.”