Last night, the House Judiciary Committee passed Rep. Gowdy’s (R-SC) “Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act,” H.R. 2278, which would negatively impact individuals fleeing persecution, including refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people. The bill aims to worsen expansive laws targeting terrorism that instead have consequences for refugees and asylees. It expands our immigration detention system that currently holds many torture survivors, asylum seekers, and others seeking protection in the United States from persecution in their home countries. Finally, it unwisely delegates the enforcement of our national immigration laws to state and local law enforcement agencies despite demonstrated instances of profiling and subsequent weakening of community safety.
The committee vote followed a hearing last week on this legislation. Along with several other refugee protection organizations, HIAS submitted testimony for the hearing – click here to check it out and learn more.