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senate Bill S. 2329

Screening for "Extremists" and a Temporary Ban on Refugees from High-Risk Countries

Argument in favor

Congress has a duty to keep their constituents safe from foreign threats. These new screening requirements will keep dangerous people out, and keep the U.S. from taking unnecessary risks.

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12/13/2015
We need a moratorium, not ban, on nations that support terrorist groups... Also some more food for thought, nobody has the right to be an American.
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BTSundra's Opinion
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12/10/2015
The safety of Americans should be Congress's top priority, and we must do whatever we deem fit to protect America.
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Loraki's Opinion
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12/06/2015
Bravo to Senator Paul for crafting a bill, whose time is long overdue! These stipulations have been badly needed. I cannot imagine why ANYONE would object to this bill, but I know that there are "bleeding heart" liberals and open borders globalists, who will cry "bloody murder". I noticed that one ill-informed Countable member named "Jewel" stated that there hasn't been any terrorism committed by refugees. I have to wonder what planet that member is from! Sen. Paul points out a GLARING EXAMPLE: “The time has come to stop terrorists from walking in our front door. The Boston Marathon bombers were refugees, and numerous refugees from Iraq, including some living in my hometown, have attempted to commit terrorist attacks. The terrorist attacks in Paris underscore this concern that I have been working to address for the past several years. My bill will press pause on new refugee entrants from high-risk countries until stringent new screening procedures are in place.” I would add that the time has come to stop terrorists from walking in our BACK door, as well!
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Argument opposed

The U.S. has a duty to extend humanitarian support to refugees fleeing war-torn countries. Additional screenings piled onto an already strict process is not only cruel, but based in reactionary politics.

AndrewGVN's Opinion
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12/03/2015
The current process to allow refugees into this country is already a very long, intensive process for the refugees. Along with the other bill recently passing regarding this issue, this bill is simply not needed. The current process for refugees takes 18-24 months for them to get their visa through multiple procedures, that's good enough.
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Alis's Opinion
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12/03/2015
NO REFUGEES HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN TERROR ATTACKS! We need to be vigilant but being vigilant in the wrong areas MAKES US LESS SAFE! Could someone in Congress engage your brain? (Assuming any of you have access to one--which at this point is a stretch.) I understand the temptation to always make decisions based on the correct politics to preserve your income & get votes at any cost. It would be a darlin' thing if you could focus on the welfare of the US citizenry and not your own bottom-line! We don't need protection from refugees. We need protection from domestic terrorism & the country awash in guns & military assault weapons. There are dangers outside the US that can come in but, given the level of gun deaths we visit upon ourselves, I am more fearful of my armed evangelical neighbor with anger management issues (who doesn't think I'm a Christian because my faith is not identical to his) than I am of any person from the Middle East especially refugees who are themselves the victims of terrorism.
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Tobey's Opinion
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12/03/2015
The U.S. already conducts excessive background checks from multiple federal agencies and departments to make sure that no terrorist can ever enter the country. This bill will not only be a waste of time & money, but also harm the people it's trying to help
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
    IntroducedNovember 19th, 2015

What is Senate Bill S. 2329?

This bill would enhance security screenings for prospective refugees before they can be admitted into the U.S. The bill also suspends the approval of visas from "high-risk" countries. Enhanced screenings would include things like:

  • Registration requirements;
  • Interviews; 
  • Fingerprinting;
  • A Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) background check;
  • DHS monitoring searching for indications of terrorist activities.

New visa applications could not be approved for at least 30 days to allow time for enhanced security screenings. Applicants from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program would also be subject to enhanced screenings. The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days without a special visa. Designated ‘trusted travelers’ under the Global Entry program would be exempt from the delays, but only after meeting certain criteria.

34 countries would be designated as "high-risk" under this bill. Refugee admissions would be suspended from these countries, including: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Consideration of visa applications from these countries could resume once the DHS submits a screening effectiveness report 25 days after this bill’s enactment. That report would have to certify to Congress that the screening process has been improved. Congress would then have to enact a law reinstating application approval for candidates from those countries.

Visa applications from high-risk countries would be blocked until DHS, the Dept. of State, and the Director of National Intelligence can unanimously certify that:

  • A national security screening process has been created for applicants from high-risk countries requiring a 30-day assessment;

  • A biometric entry-exit control system has been fully implemented;

  • The necessary steps have been taken to prevent national security vulnerabilities from people overstaying a temporary legal status;

  • A policy has been implemented to remove those who have overstayed the authorized period of time they could stay in the country.

DHS would be have to integrate data from its automated entry-exit system into a database that could be cross-referenced to look up the records and lawful immigration status of any given traveler to the U.S. Records include any illegal entry into the country, visa status, fraudulent travel documents, instances of identity misrepresentation, and other methods of entry into the country used by the traveler. 

DHS could question and verify the travel documents of any U.S. citizen in the outgoing lane of port of entry on the U.S. border. This bill also outlines provisions to ensure that refugees, asylees, and other non-citizens with visas do not vote in federal elections while in the U.S. Anyone who illegally registers to vote or votes in a federal election would no longer be eligible for permanent residence or citizenship. They could also be subject to deportation. 

Refugees and asylees would be prohibited from receiving federal benefits like Medicaid or Social Security. If any non-citizen with a visa secures these benefits, they would be ineligible for permanent residence or citizenship.

Impact

Citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries who apply to travel to the U.S., people applying for U.S. visas or who travel in and out of the country, refugees or visa holders who try to vote in federal elections or receive federal benefits, people in the U.S., federal agencies involved in border security, DHS, and the State Department.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2329

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) cited the need to screen people entering the country to ensure they don't pose a security risk:

“The time has come to stop terrorists from walking in our front door. The Boston Marathon bombers were refugees, and numerous refugees from Iraq, including some living in my hometown, have attempted to commit terrorist attacks. The terrorist attacks in Paris underscore this concern that I have been working to address for the past several years. My bill will press pause on new refugee entrants from high-risk countries until stringent new screening procedures are in place.”

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have observed that the Visa Waiver Program is vulnerable to being exploited by terrorists. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said that Europe, which is home to 30 of the 38 countries in the Visa Waiver Program, “has a much more massive number of people who’ve come back” from terror camps in Iraq and Syria. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) called for the program to be temporarily suspended:

“It could just be a matter of hours, before someone travels through these different borders, someone who's become a foreign fighter, who's been fighting in Syria, and ends up here on the United States soil."

The travel industry has pushed back against this legislation, noting that there are up to 20 million travelers per year who utilize the Visa Waiver Program to come to the U.S. Others argue that the current screening procedures — a 18 to 24 month process that includes interviews, biometrics, background checks, medical and database checks — is stringent enough.  


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user beshro)

AKA

SECURE Act

Official Title

A bill to prevent the entry of extremists into the United States under the refugee program, and for other purposes.

    We need a moratorium, not ban, on nations that support terrorist groups... Also some more food for thought, nobody has the right to be an American.
    Like (19)
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    The current process to allow refugees into this country is already a very long, intensive process for the refugees. Along with the other bill recently passing regarding this issue, this bill is simply not needed. The current process for refugees takes 18-24 months for them to get their visa through multiple procedures, that's good enough.
    Like (31)
    Follow
    Share
    NO REFUGEES HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN TERROR ATTACKS! We need to be vigilant but being vigilant in the wrong areas MAKES US LESS SAFE! Could someone in Congress engage your brain? (Assuming any of you have access to one--which at this point is a stretch.) I understand the temptation to always make decisions based on the correct politics to preserve your income & get votes at any cost. It would be a darlin' thing if you could focus on the welfare of the US citizenry and not your own bottom-line! We don't need protection from refugees. We need protection from domestic terrorism & the country awash in guns & military assault weapons. There are dangers outside the US that can come in but, given the level of gun deaths we visit upon ourselves, I am more fearful of my armed evangelical neighbor with anger management issues (who doesn't think I'm a Christian because my faith is not identical to his) than I am of any person from the Middle East especially refugees who are themselves the victims of terrorism.
    Like (23)
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    The U.S. already conducts excessive background checks from multiple federal agencies and departments to make sure that no terrorist can ever enter the country. This bill will not only be a waste of time & money, but also harm the people it's trying to help
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    The safety of Americans should be Congress's top priority, and we must do whatever we deem fit to protect America.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Bravo to Senator Paul for crafting a bill, whose time is long overdue! These stipulations have been badly needed. I cannot imagine why ANYONE would object to this bill, but I know that there are "bleeding heart" liberals and open borders globalists, who will cry "bloody murder". I noticed that one ill-informed Countable member named "Jewel" stated that there hasn't been any terrorism committed by refugees. I have to wonder what planet that member is from! Sen. Paul points out a GLARING EXAMPLE: “The time has come to stop terrorists from walking in our front door. The Boston Marathon bombers were refugees, and numerous refugees from Iraq, including some living in my hometown, have attempted to commit terrorist attacks. The terrorist attacks in Paris underscore this concern that I have been working to address for the past several years. My bill will press pause on new refugee entrants from high-risk countries until stringent new screening procedures are in place.” I would add that the time has come to stop terrorists from walking in our BACK door, as well!
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    They're already screened. Get a grip.
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    Unfortunately there is no option for debate and hesitation. The United States has been previously and to this current moment bombarded with threats that beyond surpass threatening from the communities most commonly consisting individuals consisting of a radical jihadist influence incorporating some of the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Syria, Afghanistan and a plethora of more as well). As we have evidently noticed and encountered the coverage of the mainstream media of the devastations that have occurred on the soul of the United States due to the contingency of incompetent attempts to ensure the ability to prioritize that souls/refugees being readily imported in our nations borders have descriptive background of great responsibility and being at a civili status as well. Listen, it's hardly feasible to fathom how many precious lives have been lost under the behalf and lack of lawful legislation on the behalf of Washington to NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THE PROBLEM WE ARE FACING. YOU DONT KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS UNTIL YOU COMPREHEND ITS SIGNIFICANCE AND IMMERSE IT IN YOUR MIND AS BEING THE REASONS FOR INITIATING HARM! In other words, to diffuse the issue we have to identify the problem and develop a hypothesis concerning its urgency. The problem is radical jihadist terrorism and the hypothesis is that the problem was not named by some of our leaders in authority resulting in our national security being exploited everyday, period. Let's first address the problem and enforce lawful actions to diffuse it for future reference. Pardon me but for lord sake it's a manner of having a mindset of common sense. The point being is, as an individual that is a young state government employee i demand the problem to be addressed and lawful implementations to be passed for the sake of alleviating our national security! *If you endorse this analysis you agree*. Not gradually but IMMEDIATELY Increasing regulations to ensure that there is zero extremists capable of exploiting national security takes an approach to name the problem and develop matters to diffuse it. The fact of the matter is bureaucracies influencing every aspect of Washington legislation propose the problem to never be address. Although authentic and true leaders in Washington containing the wise mindset will address the problem and diffuse it for the sake that they took an oath to "To serve and protect the American people". Why do you think the issue has not been diffused at this point! I'll give you a hint it's not the tooth fairies or Uncle Sam's fault. ITS SIMPLY FOR A MAJORITY A BUREAUCRATIC IDEOLOGY IN WASHINGTON. My apologies, it's the truth and core reality. The factual truth that you may want to deny but mark my words it's credible! Passing this proposal under the lead of Mr. Senator Ran Paul would confront the problem of radical Islamic terrorism and diffuse by incorporating fundamentals/implementations such as: Congress would then have to enact a law reinstating application approval for candidates from those countries. Visa applications from high-risk countries would be blocked until DHS, the Dept. of State, and the Director of National Intelligence can unanimously certify that: A national security screening process has been created for applicants from high-risk countries requiring a 30-day assessment; A biometric entry-exit control system has been fully implemented; The necessary steps have been taken to prevent national security vulnerabilities from people overstaying a temporary legal status; A policy has been implemented to remove those who have overstayed the authorized period of time they could stay in the country Quote: "Refugees and asylees would be prohibited from receiving federal benefits like Medicaid or Social Security. If any non-citizen with a visa secures these benefits, they would be ineligible for permanent residence or citizenship." As the proposal as stated this implementation will only be regarding a temporary matter so no need to be apprehensive (it's for the sake of national security) Additionally, a proposal such as these may seem as a direct violation of what the United States exemplifies in not providing the necessities of health care. Although hypocritical concerns do play in believe it or not. Obama care may seem as a desperate alternative for these refugees although not only dose Obama care contain an abundance of objections such as BOOMING PREMIUMS AND FINES/PENALTIES FOR SOME JUSTIFICATIONS. More ABSURDLY it's in direct violation of the constitution. See for yourself in article 1 section 8! Although the bureaucracies claim that Obama shall not be classified as healthcare And as a tax. Which is we both know a coverup in their behalf's because in article 1 section 8 it's dose state that congress shall have the power to grant taxes as well. Please don't take my word for it and see for yourself: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html To witness the longterm justifications that accurately proves the disaster of Obama care and its objections take some time to please glance here: https://www.gop.com/the-case-against-obamacare/ This is a relevant case if claimed irrelevant as well due to the details in the details column of this bill that indeed discusses about vetting health care distribution as well. To reiterate, to counter and defeat the evident threats that face us today. Let's acknowledge the problem for a change, immerse it in our brains and develop impeccable results to bring our national security to its bright ages. It can most certainly be done with limited bureaucratic influences hindering the capability for the problems to be addressed and implementations to occur. This November and for the next century most likely we can choose a path that incorporates a 555% increase of some threatening refugees in our country, devastating our national security unthinkably more and increasing bureaucracies or we can go the bright path where we have transparent implementations to immediately ensure our national security with defining results and limited bureaucracies. When you get to that ballot I'll trust you'll make that decision. Not only for the sake of alleviate national security and abolishing threats abroad but for the sake of increasing diplomatic relations as well with our allies as well. "It's up to us to make that change" Thank you for your time.
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    There has never been an attack by a refugee. Why would they go through all they have to go through to come here as a refugee when they can simply recruit a disturbed young Muslim American citizen, who can then purchase legally an Arsenal that would be sufficient for a small army. All this anti-Muslim, anti refugee rhetoric simply feeds into the ISIS narrative that we are at war with Islam.
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    Extreme vetting!
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    The safety of the American people should be the legislature's top priority. We must do whatever we have to do to protect our nation.
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    Dear white people, sorry to burst your Anglo discrimination bubbles but Americans are not in the largest danger nor the main victims of current radical Islamic terrorism. Guess who the people being affected the most are...its people living where ISIL is fighting and the majority of them are also Muslim and are currently running for their lives (I know it's shocking). Why are we asking them to denounce ISIL when their lives were ruined by them? I mean, of course you'll dislike someone when it's their fault your life was ruined and family members are injured or dead.
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    The process to be administered as a refugee is a lengthy process that could take a year to 18 months. If an extremist were to try to enter the country coming in as a refugee is the worse way to go about doing it. We should not force people who are fleeing a war zone to stay behind because our fear keeps us from helping them. America has a duty to provide humanitarian aid to these people.
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    We already have extensive background checks in place. This is more GOP fear mongering and pandering to extremists. The US destabilized the region with unneeded wars so we have a real responsibility even beyond moral and ethical ones to help those fleeing their war torn countries. Stop buying into the hate.
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    I'm a Jew. I lost ancestors because America wouldn't take in refugees. So shut up and let them in after they go thru the extensive checks we already have in place.
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    Fear should not be our reason for not allowing refugees into this country. We should NOT punish an entire people or culture because we are afraid. #1, we are better than that! #2, taking in refugees is our legacy and this situation is no different! The rules in place should be utilized and are sufficient.
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    Shut it all down now - citizens from these countries should have to stand up for themselves - JUST LIKE THEY WOULD BE EXPECTED TO DO HERE ON US SOIL, OUR COUNTRY IS NOT A HIDEOUT!
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    "Syrian refugee living in Germany kills pregnant woman with machete, injures 2" this is a headline from today for those of you that said no refugee had ever been involved in an attack. Here is another headline from the morning CNN)- A Syrian asylum seeker exploded a suicide bomb outside a music festival in southern Germany Sunday night, in the latest violent attack to rattle the country in the past week. Also, the process can be as simple as an application and interview, and a couple letters of recommendation. So if you think the process is long then.....
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    Restricting or even stopping immigration is opposed to American values. If we give in to our fears then the terrorists have already won.
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    We absolutely can not turn our backs on people dying just because some people decide to do something wrong, we should not punish innocent people for the actions of some extremists
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