Legislation helps keep us SAFE

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Last week, the American people spoke and the “People’s House” listened.

Republicans and Democrats came together in a veto-proof majority to respond to the will of the American people and do our primary job to keep them safe. The House delivered a strong bipartisan vote on my bill, the American SAFE Act, a reasonable, common sense bill that says pause the Syrian refugee program unless and until top security officials in the United States can guarantee that we have a safe and reliable vetting process and the American people can be assured that terrorists aren’t exploiting our country’s compassion by posing as refugees.

I started working on this bill a few weeks ago when our country heard from top security officials in this administration that our federal government is unable to effectively vet Syrian refugees. I introduced the bill immediately last Monday because of reports that at least one of the terrorists in Paris entered Europe as a Syrian refugee. Despite both of these revelations, President Obama announced he will continue to accept 10,000 refugees from Iraq and Syria — a breeding ground of Islamic extremism. This is as naïve as it is reckless.

It’s not Richard Hudson saying that the current vetting process is broken, it’s experts from President Obama’s administration saying that our government is bringing in these refugees who they cannot properly vet. Take Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson who said, “It’s true that we aren’t going to know a lot about the Syrians that come forth in this process, that is definitely a challenge.” And FBI Director James Comey, “We can only query against that which we have collected and so if someone has not made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interests reflected in our databases, we can query our data until the cows come home, but nothing will show up because we have no record of that person.”

As your congressman, I refuse to allow President Obama to open our front door to radical Islamic extremists who are bent on burning down our house. A strong bipartisan majority of the House, including 47 Democrats, agreed with me and voted for my bill, the American SAFE Act, delivering a veto-proof majority despite President Obama threatening a veto.

This is a step in the right direction to ensure we are safe and secure in the United States. The most important step is for the president to admit that his strategy to deal with ISIS is failing and put forth a comprehensive, long-term plan that will successfully degrade and destroy this enemy. While our president leads from behind, claiming ISIS is contained, Islamic extremism grows, and the attacks in Paris are a glaring example of that.

America is a compassionate country. I believe that is one of the things that makes our country so great. We have a long history of accepting refugees and people fleeing oppression and violence, but we also have an obligation to protect the American people. ISIS has vowed to exploit this refugee crisis to infiltrate our country. This is an organization that has said its goal is to come to America and kill us and I take them at their word. The American SAFE Act will keep these radical Islamic terrorists out and us safe, which is why I encourage the Senate to swiftly take up this bill.

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Richard Hudson, a Republican from Concord, represents the 8th District in the U.S. House, which includes most of Robeson County.

Richard Hudson, a Republican from Concord, represents the 8th District in the U.S. House, which includes most of Robeson County.