WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Darin LaHood released the following statement today regarding the President’s Executive Order on suspending the refugee immigration program for four months and other actions to review and enhance the vetting procedures for people from Syria and other nations that currently have inadequate and lax security screening processes. These countries include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
"The United States will continue to be a beacon of hope and opportunity for those looking to immigrate to a better way of life, but first and foremost, national security for our American citizens and our homeland must be priority number one.
We need to have a precise understanding of who and why people are entering our country. We are a compassionate immigrant nation for those looking to work hard, play by the rules and embrace American ideals. However, we know that there are terrorist groups and entities that want to harm America, and they are looking to use our immigration system against us and hurt innocent people. This action to strengthen our immigration vetting process as it relates to Syria and a small handful of other countries with a history of terrorist activity should be viewed as protecting our homeland and its citizens. I look forward to working in a bi-partisan fashion with both the Administration and my colleagues in Congress towards this goal.
Finally, earlier this week I voiced my concern with the Administration regarding the confusion pertaining to permanent residents and green card holders. I am pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has since clarified and stated that lawful permanent residents, or green card holders, will continue to be admitted into the country, absent any evidence of a threat to public safety. I believe clarifying this confusion prior to implementing the rule could have alleviated much of the uncertainty and confusion with the Executive Order."