Bennet Statement on House Bill to Restrict Syrian Refugees

House bill does not make us safe, is contrary to our values - Calls on Congress to address key vulnerabilities in Visa Waiver Program, counter ISIS propoganda, recruiting

Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement following the Senate's vote to block a bill that would prohibit Iraqi and Syrian refugees from entering the United States:

"Our most important priority is to keep this country safe. A blanket prohibition like this doesn't actually make us safer and refugees are more thoroughly vetted than anyone else entering the United States.

"A more serious approach we can take would be to pass the bill we introduced to address the security gaps in the Visa Waiver Program and to halt the flow of foreign fighters. We must also work to counter terrorist groups' ability to radicalize individuals at home and abroad by implementing a stronger strategy for countering ISIS propaganda and degrading its recruitment machine. And, we should enact the Senate-passed immigration bill, which includes historic investments to secure our borders and enhance our interior enforcement. Addressing these vulnerabilities and investing in smart security solutions will help us both protect our borders and live by our values. Our principles don't mean much if we jettison them every time we find them inconvenient or difficult to live by."

In December, Bennet introduced a bipartisan bill to strengthen the security of the Visa Waiver Program to help prevent terrorists from entering the United States. It would address security gaps within the program and bolster the requirements for individuals entering the country through the Visa Waiver Program.