Calvert legislation would add requirements for Syrian, Iraqi refugees

The Secure Accountability for Emigres and Refugees (SAFER) Act was recently introduced by U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) to add requirements to the Syrian and Iraqi refugee security vetting process.

The legislation – H.R. 4291 – builds upon the SAFE Act (H.R. 4038), passed by the House on Nov. 19. Security agencies are empowered by the SAFE Act to set strict requirements for entry as refugees. It also halts such admissions until standards are set.

“It has become all too clear to many Americans that our security screening processes for individuals wishing to enter our country are insufficient,” Calvert said. “Peaceful people who wish to come to our country with good intentions have nothing to fear with these additional measures. I believe these are responsible steps we must take to protect Americans.”

Under the SAFER Act, all Iraqi and Syrian refugees, regardless of background or religious affiliation, would be required to pass a certified polygraph examination to determine if they are escaping oppression or if they are seeking entry to the U.S. with possibly violent intentions.

The legislation also requires that all Syrian and Iraqi refugees provide biometric data. The data would then be compared to known databases to validate that each refugee has no history of terrorist activity. Refugees would also be required to provide DNA samples to be compared to known databases for the same reason. A background check that includes an investigation of all online activity, including social media posts, would also be performed.

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