In response to Thursday's vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to erect barriers for Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing war, Tarah Demant, Senior Director of the Identity and Discrimination Unit at Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement:
“The American SAFE Act of 2015 has nothing to do with keeping Americans safe. It’s a cynical ploy to score political points off the tragic attacks in Paris. If it were to become law, tens of thousands of desperate refugees fleeing the armed group calling itself the Islamic State and other violence would pay the price.
“Syrian and Iraqi refugees seeking resettlement in the United States are already subjected to an extensive and lengthy vetting process. The American SAFE Act is really about creating unreasonably burdensome bureaucratic hurdles to make it significantly more difficult for refugees to gain asylum – all without making Americans safer.
“The United States has nothing to gain and much to lose by turning its back on refugees. Congress should resist the Islamophobia and fear-mongering of recent days and recommit the United States to resettling the world’s most vulnerable people.”