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Published On: Thu, Jan 21st, 2016

Bill for tighter screening of Syrian refugees blocked by Senate Democrats

U.S. Senate Democrats blocked legislation on Wednesday that would slow the entry of refugees from Syria and Iraq into the United States in a contentious vote during presidential election-year politics.

The vote was 55-43, with “yes” votes falling short of the 60 needed to advance the Republican-backed measure in the 100-member Senate. No Republicans voted against the bill, and only two Democrats backed it.

Highlighted in the bill would have been a requirement of high-level U.S. officials to verify that each refugee from Iraq and Syria posed no security risk before being allowed into the United States.

How to allow Syrian refugees without allowing another Syed Farook (pictured)

How to allow Syrian refugees without allowing another Syed Farook (pictured)

Republicans said the tighter screening was essential to ensure the safety of Americans and prevent attacks within the country by Islamic State and other militant groups.

Democrats called the legislation an attack on people who are fleeing war. They accused Republicans of holding the vote to allow their 2016 presidential candidates in the Senate to back legislation touted as tough on security.

Democrats added that the measure would set up a vote on an amendment establishing a religious test for would-be immigrants.

That vote was planned to see if Republicans would side against 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has advocated barring Muslims from entering the United States.

The Syria refugee bill passed the House by a large, bipartisan margin in November days after the Nov. 13 Islamic State attacks in Paris, supported by dozens of Democrats who broke from their party despite President Obama’s threatened veto.

“We need to talk about efforts to defeat ISIS, not creating more paperwork for cabinet secretaries,” Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, told reporters before the vote.

While it’s been reported that it takes 18-24 months to properly vet a refugee from the war torn Middle East, the current system has resulted in over 113 of these migrants being arrested for terrorist activity, a tenuous topic between the White House and Homeland Security. More on that, click here.

photo/Islamic State flag

photo/Islamic State flag

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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