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Congressman Jerry McNerney

Representing the 9th District of California

Rep. McNerney Issues Statement on H.R. 4038

Nov 19, 2015
Press Release

Washington – Rep. McNerney issued the following statement on his vote to oppose H.R. 4038:

“My highest priority as a member of Congress is the safety and security of the people in my district, and the protection of all Americans. The horror and tragedy of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris have echoed around the world, and serve as a stark reminder that we must do everything possible to keep our country safe. Any actions or policies that we advance in response to the brutality and hatred we’ve seen in Europe and the Middle East should bolster the security of our nation, and promote greater safety for our people. These efforts should reflect our American values, and our position as a leader in the international community.

“Currently, refugees considered for entry into the United States, no matter their country of origin, must undergo an extensive and robust screening process. These procedures include multiple layers of safeguards; screenings and background checks to ensure that an applicant meets all the requirements set forth by national security agencies, and does not pose a threat to the United States. Under the current system, those conditions must be met for an applicant to be admitted, in a process that typically takes 18 to 24 months. Our efforts should focus on continuing to improve upon and strengthen current protocols. Instead, H.R. 4038 puts roadblocks in place that would hinder the government’s ability to ensure proper implementation of the existing system that has kept Americans safe since its creation after 9/11.

“Although H.R. 4038 sounds tough, I am concerned that it will do the opposite of what its intended by bringing the current working system to a halt, thereby freezing refugees – many who are women and children – in a state of hopelessness, potentially creating more radicalized individuals and weakening our international coalition to fight ISIS. Moreover, H.R. 4038 legislates from a place of fear and does not reflect our core American values that make America the greatest nation in the world.

“For these reasons I opposed H.R. 4038.  Only by standing together can we drive out the darkness, confront extremism, and hold a firm line against ISIS and all terrorism.”    

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.