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Welcome to Congressman Larry Bucshon

Representing the 8th District of Indiana

Dr. Bucshon Votes to Pause Syrian Refugee Program

November 19, 2015
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC) –Eighth District Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4038, a plan to pause the government's Syrian refugee program, with a veto-proof majority:

“This is a security measure that prioritizes the safety of the American people,” said Bucshon. “Terrorists have made clear their intentions to exploit our compassion as a welcoming, humanitarian nation. At the same time, the president’s national security team admits the Syrian refugee program has significant security gaps that would allow them to do so. Without a thorough verification process in place to vet every refugee that enters the United States, the program should be put on hold. This common-sense, bipartisan bill significantly strengthens the vetting process and puts resettlement on hold unless or until the administration can guarantee those who wish to do us harm are not crossing our borders under the guise of refugees. When it comes to national security, there’s no room for error. As a representative of the people, I will take every step available to protect the citizens of this country.” 

H.R. 4038 passed the House by a vote of 289-137 and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

Earlier this week, Bucshon released a statement supporting Governor Mike Pence’s decision to suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana.


Recently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official Matthew Emrich disclosed that the government does not have access to any database in Syria that can be used to check the backgrounds of incoming refugees against criminal and terrorist records. Nevertheless, it was revealed that over 90% of Syrian refugee applicants get approved, despite intelligence gaps and absent the ability to thoroughly check for security risks.

Furthermore, at least one of the terrorists that attacked the stadium in Paris entered Europeusing a fake Syrian passport through the refugee program.

Many of the President’s top national security advisors agree the Syrian refugee program poses a significant national security risk…

At the end of October, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson stated:

“It is true that we are not going to know a whole lot about the Syrians that come forth in this process…We know that organizations like ISIL might like to exploit this [Syrian refugee resettlement] program…The bad news is that there is no risk-free process.”

In his testimony before Congress, FBI Director James Comey declared that the United States’ vetting process has significant gaps:

“There is risk associated with bringing anybody in from the outside, but especially from a conflict zone like [Syria]. My concern there [about bringing Syrian refugees into the United States] is that there are certain gaps I don’t want to talk about publicly in the date available to us.”

Earlier this year, FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach said:

“the concern in Syria is that we don’t have the systems in places on the ground to collect the information… All of the data sets, the police, the intel services that normally you would go and seek that information [from], don’t exist.”

The House Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel’s final report, released in September, can be accessed in full here.

Additionally, the House Homeland Security Committee’s review on the Syrian refugee flows can be accessed here.

Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. is a physician and Republican member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee serving his third term representing Indiana's 8th Congressional district. The 8th District of Indiana includes all or parts of Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, and Warrick counties.