Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Calls for Swift Action to Ban Syrian Refugees

Jan 13, 2016
Press Release
ISIS “Refugee” Kills 10 Tourists After Sneaking Into Turkey

“The Safety of Americans Comes First”

WASHINGTON — Amid reports this week that an ISIS terrorist disguised as a refugee killed 10 tourists in Istanbul, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today called for swift congressional action to stop Syrian refugees from entering America.

Buchanan called on the U.S. Senate to immediately pass the SAFE Act, which would freeze the influx of Syrian refugees into the U.S. until an iron-clad screening process is approved. The bill passed the U.S. House in November but has stalled in the Senate.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Turkish officials identified the bomber as Nabil Fadli, a Syrian national who was fingerprinted in Turkey last week while registering as a refugee. The Journal said Fadli was not on any terror watch lists shared with Turkey by other countries.

“The attacks in Paris and Istanbul demonstrate how radical Islamic jihadists are using refugee populations as cover to carry out murderous attacks,” said Buchanan. “The safety of Americans comes first. Congress needs to put a bill on the President’s desk to freeze the Syrian refugee resettlement program until we have a better screening process.”

The SAFE Act requires the FBI director, the secretary of Homeland Security and the director of National Intelligence to personally certify that each and every refugee from Syria and Iraq is not a security threat.

“We should be using every tool at our disposal to stop terrorists in their tracks,” Buchanan said. “The Senate should pass this bill immediately and require the President to fix the gaping holes in the Administration’s vetting system.”

Last month Buchanan introduced the “Social Media Screening For Terrorists Act” which directs the secretary of Homeland Security to vet all public records, including Facebook and other forms of social media, before admitting foreign travelers and visa applicants into the country. Buchanan’s bill mirrors legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-AZ. Text of the measure can be viewed here.