Friday, November 20, 2015

Hartzler: We are sympathetic to refugees, but we can't take them at our own peril

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in France, the House took action this week to address the concerns of Americans who have questions about plans to bring thousands of Syrian refugees to the United States. The American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, which I am pleased to co-sponsor, will prevent proposed Syrian or Iraqi refugees from entering our country until the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligenceunanimously certify that the individual does NOT represent a security threat. You can get more information on the SAFE Act here.)

We are a compassionate nation and are sympathetic to the plight of those trying to escape terror in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, however until we can fully guarantee the safety of our citizens here at home I cannot support continuing to freely accept refugees from these unstable and war-torn countries. I support providing a safe refuge from the despicable acts perpetrated by these extremist groups, but we cannot and should not do so at our own peril.

America has a long history of providing safe haven for many of the world’s most vulnerable refugees. And, while our hearts go out to Syrians terrorized by the Islamic State, we must keep in mind that the terrorists have spoken of entering other countries while pretending to be refugees. In fact, authorities report at least one of the terrorists identified in the Paris attacks had claimed to be a refugee.

We must take all precautions to protect our homeland. As we continue to pray for France and the families whose loved ones were killed or injured in these savage attacks, America must move forward to provide safeguards to give the American people the assurances they want and deserve. They must feel confident their government is doing everything possible to prevent terrorists from coming to our country.

On a different note, November 21st, is National Adoption Day. National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care, over 13,000 of which are in Missouri, waiting to find permanent, loving families. As a former state representative who helped write and pass two major adoption reform bills in Missouri, I am proud to be a strong advocate for pro-adoption legislation in Washington. You can check out for more information and to find out what you can do to get involved.

Last week, I also had the privilege of seeing firsthand the capabilities of one of our nation’s premiere weapons, the B-2 Stealth Bomber, based at our own Whiteman Air Force Base. I spent a day with airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing and the 131st Bomb Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard as they showed me what it takes to make this incredible plane fly. The B-2 can be launched from Missouri to any spot on the globe in a moment’s notice. I got to spend some time in the aircraft and its simulator to experience what the B-2 can do to keep us safe. The impressive work of the maintenance crews, the munitions crews, the pilots, and everyone else involved in B-2 operations is truly extraordinary. I am proud to represent them in Washington and thank them for the day and for all they do to keep us safe.

Finally, the holiday season is upon us with Americans joining loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving Day and to thank God for the blessings we all enjoy living in this great nation. As we join family and friends this Thanksgiving for turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, we must remember to give thanks to God and to pray for our men and women in uniform who protect us and keep our homeland safe. The brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces make sacrifices each day to preserve our freedoms and to allow us to enjoy God’s bounty. This Thanksgiving, as you gather with loved ones, may we remember to thank God for our bountiful blessings and ask Him to continue to protect and bless this great land..

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