GOP unveils bill to toughen checks on Syrian refugees

GOP leaders in the House have rolled out a bill that would slow down the admission of Syrian refugees in the United States, mainly by adding in a series of national security checks, certifications and background investigations by both U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

The plan is to hold a vote on the "American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act" on Thursday, before lawmakers leave for a Thanksgiving break.

While top Republicans had talked about a "pause" in allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., this plan would achieve that by adding extra layers of checks:

+ Each refugee would need a review by the Department of Homeland Security

+ The GOP plan also requires the FBI to take "all actions necessary" for a "thorough background investigation" before someone can be admitted to the U.S. as a refugee

+ The FBI and the Director of National Intelligence would have to certify that there has been a "background investigation that is sufficient to determine" whether the refugee "is a threat to the security of the United States."

The text of the GOP bill can be seen here.

The measure would impact only those refugees who are from Iraq and Syria, or who have been in Iraq and Syria over the last four years.

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