Contact/Week Ahead Graphics

Email Updates

Print

Rep. Yarmuth Statement on Votes Addressing our Nation's Refugee System

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) issued the statement below following his votes on legislative proposals addressing our country’s refugee system.

“As we saw in Paris, the threat of terrorist attacks and radicalization of European nationals is a global security threat. We must continue to work with our allies to combat ISIS and other jihadists who seek to harm and kill innocent civilians. Here at home, the federal government needs to ensure that everyone entering the United States poses no threat to the American people.

“Today, I opposed a misguided bill that uses bureaucratic delays to shut down our Syrian and Iraqi refugee programs, while failing to provide any security improvements to our vetting process. I supported an alternative proposal that improves our vetting process for refugees from all countries with active terrorist networks, not just Syria and Iraq, increases Congressional oversight of these programs, and continues to help families fleeing horrific violence.

“We all saw the heartbreaking and tragic photo of a dead three-year old Syrian boy who had washed ashore in Turkey this past September. His mother and sister also died as they desperately tried to find safety in Greece. More than 70 children have drowned since that photo was taken. The war in Syria has killed at least 250,000 people, including more than 12,000 children. This is a humanitarian crisis.

“As we work to strengthen our security, our answer cannot be to abandon the innocent victims of the same terror we strive to defeat. Our nation was founded with the idea that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights, endowed, not by Congress, but by our creator. We became the wealthiest, most powerful nation the world has ever known as we welcomed the tired, hungry, and poor. These are the values that made us great, and in the face of terror, we cannot turn from them. We must hold them close or risk losing them forever.  I’m proud to represent a city that has embraced those ideals, a city that celebrates its rich history of welcoming refugees from around the world. Today, I stand with the people of Louisville in refusing to turn my back on those in need.”