National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Opposes American SAFE Act (H.R. 4038)

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JAN. 20, 2016

 Contact: Mary Tablante;

 (202) 706-6768;

 

mary@ncapaonline.org

   

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) strongly opposes the so-called American SAFE Act (H.R. 4038), which would effectively block all refugees from Syria and Iraq from being resettled into the United States.
 
NCAPA is a coalition of 35 national organizations that provides a national voice for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities.
 
We believe that America can be safe and secure without sacrificing our cherished values or undermining our moral leadership.
 
All potential refugees already face the highest level of scrutiny and security screening before arriving in the United States. The Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and State, as well as the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center all play an integral role to ensure that potential refugees will not pose a threat to our country.
 
Those who are admitted for resettlement are often the most vulnerable--including those fleeing violence or persecution--and become part of our nation’s noble tradition of responding to major wars and conflicts by resettling refugees from across the globe. Three million refugees have been safely admitted since 1975, and they have made valuable contributions to communities throughout our country each and every day.

We agree that this debate should be based on facts and not fear mongering. These are some of the facts that compel us to oppose this legislation: Since 2011, almost 12 million people--equivalent to half of the Syrian population--have been displaced by the conflict, including 7.6 million displaced inside Syria. Yet, because the screening at all levels is so rigorous, only 23,100 Syrian refugees have been referred to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program by the UNHCR since FY 2011. Since FY 2011, DHS has interviewed 7,000 Syrians, and as of last November, only 2,034 Syrian refugees had been admitted. None have been arrested or removed on terrorism charges.
 
We should not turn our backs on these refugees now. If anything, our nation should be doing more to welcome them.

Instead of debating this divisive legislation that undermines our values, the Senate should consider comprehensive immigration reform. However, we do not believe this bill is the right vehicle for such a debate because it is not worthy of consideration. We strongly urge Senators to oppose 
H.R. 4038.

 
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Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.


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