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Rep. Graham Weighs Security, Syrian Refugees In Controversial Vote

United Nations Relief and Works Agency
(UNRWA via AP, File)

North Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham voted in favor of a controversial bill Thursday that could make it more difficult for Syrian refugees to enter the US.

The American Safety Against Foreign Enemies Act calls for an additional certification by the heads of top intelligence agencies, for every Syrian refugee admitted. Critics say the measure would bar Syrian refugees, and say proponents are misguided and fearful. While Graham supported the bill, she argues it would only add one more step to what is an already stringent process. She adds she’s disappointed in those who would turn refugees away.

“It’s appalling to me as the granddaughter of a Syrian Refugee. We also want to make sure that we are taking steps that we can take, that are the right steps to take, to make sure that people feel as safe as they can in these very, very unsettling times," she said.

Refugees are subject to some of the most stringent security checks of any visitors to the US. The bill passed the House with enough votes to override a veto, and is moving on to the Senate.