WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 21, 2016) — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday blocked a vote on H.R. 4038, “The American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act,” harmful legislation passed by the House of Representatives last November that would impede the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
If enacted, the so-called “American SAFE Act” would have subjected thousands of refugees fleeing trauma, persecution, and violence to unnecessarily burdensome and bureaucratic screening processes, delaying or extinguishing their hope for safe haven. This debate has further fueled ugly anti-refugee and anti-Muslim rhetoric among our nation’s leaders and the public.
“SEARAC applauds Senate leadership for standing up against divisive politics that promote xenophobia and ultimately undermine the best of our American values” said Quyen Dinh, executive director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). “As the largest group of refugees ever resettled in U.S. history, Southeast Asian Americans understand the need for policies that support vulnerable communities seeking refuge. We must continue to urge our members of Congress to enact sensible and humane laws that protect innocent lives and uphold our humanitarian responsibilities.”
The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) is a national organization that advances the interests of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans by empowering communities through advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building to create a socially just and equitable society. Find out more at www.searac.org.