June 20, 2016

Moulton Calls on Secretary John Kerry to meet US Commitment to Syrian Refugees

House GOP continues to push for shut down of refugee resettlement program


Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Seth Moulton (D-MA), David Cicilline (D-NJ), and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry calling on the State Department to meet its stated goal of screening and resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of this fiscal year. This letter comes as House Republicans introduce legislation to shut down refugee resettlement. To date, the State Department has settled only 2,805 Syrian refugees in the first eight months of this fiscal year.


“We need to do more to fulfill our commitment to Syrian refugees,” said Moulton. "These are the people that ISIS is persecuting. There's nobody who knows the terror of ISIS better than these refugees. When we refuse to help the enemies of ISIS, we empower ISIS and aid their recruitment."


The Syrian Civil War has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and the worst refugee crisis since World War II. As the conflict drags into its fifth year, the numbers of refugees seeking safety outside the country continue to grow. More than 4.8 million Syrians are now registered as refugees and millions more are otherwise displaced.


A number of countries have responded by admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees. In the last six months alone, Canada has admitted nearly 27,000 Syrians. The United States has since responded with a commitment to admit 10,000 screened refugees during the 2016 fiscal year.


“Throughout our history, the United States has always stood as a beacon of hope for men, women, and children who are facing unspeakable war, famine, and violence in their own countries,” said Cicilline. “It’s critical that we maintain this ideal, and offer assistance and safety for those fleeing the Syrian civil war.”


“As a nation of immigrants, we have a moral and legal imperative to lead by example in addressing greatest refugee crisis the world has seen since World War II,’ said Pascrell. “When we make a promise to the world that we will welcome those seeking a better life because they are fleeing war and persecution in their homeland, I expect us to keep our word. It is my hope that at the very least we will meet our goal and continue to lead by example to address the Syrian refugee crisis.”


Seventy three Members of Congress signed Moulton’s letter, including House Armed Services Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), House Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA), and top Judiciary Democrats John Conyers (D-MI)  and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).


The letter also urged the administration to continue the robust screening processes in place to examine refugees before they are permitted into the United States. With the enhanced review program now in place specifically for the Syrian refugee population, the program is subject to the most extensive screenings of any traveler to the United States and includes checks by the Department of Homeland Security, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Intelligence Community, FBI, and State Department.


To learn more about Congressman Moulton, visit www.moulton.house.gov or find the Congressman on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, or Medium.