STATEMENT OF Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and Executive Director of MomsRising, On the House Passage of the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act
November 20, 2015
American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act is UnAmerican, Endangers Mothers and their Children, Says MomsRising Leader
The American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act may be one of the most misleadingly named pieces of legislation in recent history. Not only does this bill not protect the country against foreign enemies, it puts thousands of women, moms, and children who are desperately trying to flee war, persecution, violence and torture in serious jeopardy. MomsRising advocates for a wide range of issues affecting our households, businesses, workplaces, and economy—and what moms everywhere know, is that there is nothing more important than the safety and security of our children and our families.
As an organization of more than a million members, most of whom are moms, MomsRising urges the Senate in the strongest possible terms not to support legislation like this draconian House bill.
There is already a stringent review process for refugees attempting to enter the United States. No fewer than four federal agencies and one United Nations agency vet each and every candidate seeking refuge in our nation. This process already takes a minimum of 18 months. Adding to that time is just cruel.
The limited number of refugees we have so far accepted from Syria — just over 2,000 since 2012 — are the most vulnerable in that nation’s conflict. Roughly half are children, many are mothers, and many are religious minorities trying to escape persecution by the Islamic State, or are victims of violence and torture by that same group.
To throw roadblocks in front of people attempting to flee a war torn nation in hopes of being free from persecution is patently un-American. Our nation was founded by people trying to escape religious persecution. To pass a bill that contravenes what our nation was built upon as we approach Thanksgiving – the time of year when we pause to recognize our founding as a nation of immigrants – is either myopic or the height of irony.
The United States is a nation that was built by people who came here to find a better life. To raise families and contribute to the strength of our country.
Let us be clear, the Syrian refugees asking to come here fear exactly the same thing we all do: terrorism. To shut them out is to abandon our values and would do a disservice to ourselves, our nation and our reputation. And it helps the terrorists win.