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Heinrich Statement on Refugees Fleeing ISIL

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on Syrian refugees fleeing the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):

"Every Syrian refugee must be subject to the highest levels of vetting and scrutiny, including repeated biometric screenings, before entering the United States of America.  Syria is a war zone and we have a duty to ensure our own homeland security.  However, the implicit assumption that Syrian refugees--many of whom have suffered terribly at the hands of ISIS--are a threat because of their country of origin is a rejection of American values and represents giving in to our worst ethnic and religious prejudices.

"I am grateful that when my father and grandparents fled Germany in the years leading up to World War II, that our country chose to see them for what they were, enthusiastic American immigrants seeking to escape the dangerous politics gripping their former nation.  Had this brand of twisted anti-immigrant logic been applied to them, I can only wonder how very different my life would be today.

"Let's remember that the enemy in the current scenario is ISIS, not the refugees who flee from their destruction.  We simply will not have the moral standing as a nation to lead in this international crisis if we ignore those who have lost everything at the hands of these barbaric terrorists."