American SAFE Act of 2015

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Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAmerican Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015
Acronyms (colloquial)SAFE
NicknamesAmerican SAFE Act of 2015
Announced inthe 114th United States Congress
Sponsored byMichael McCaul
Number of co-sponsors103
Agencies affectedFBI, Department of Homeland Security, National Intelligence Program
Legislative history

The SAFE Act (full title American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015) was a United States legislative proposal for Syrian and Iraqi refugees that would require extra background investigation before entry into the US.

Additional procedure to authorize admission for each refugee[1]

The bill was first introduced in the House on November 17, 2015, H.R. 4038 by Michael McCaul.[1] It was passed by the House, but on January 20, 2016, it failed cloture in the senate (also known as a filibuster.)[2]


The SAFE Act was created in response to the November 2015 Paris attacks, out of concern that ISIL terrorists would enter the United States posing as refugees fleeing Syria.[3]


FBI Director James Comey said the SAFE Act "seeks to micromanage the process in a way that is counter-productive to national security, to our humanitarian obligation, and the overall ability to focus on Homeland Security".[4]

Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini pointed out that the Paris attackers were EU citizens, not Syrian refugees.[5]

Barack Obama threatened to veto the legislation if passed.[4]


  1. ^ a b "H.R.4038 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)". Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  2. ^ "American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015 (2016 - H.R. 4038)". GovTrack. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  3. ^ "House votes to curb Syrian refugees, snubs Obama veto threat". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b Perez, Evan (19 November 2015). "First on CNN: FBI Director James Comey balks at refugee legislation". Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  5. ^ Porter, Tom (November 17, 2015). "Paris attacks: Police arrest man carrying same passport as one found near suicide bomber". International Business Times. Retrieved 1 November 2017. It is all EU citizens so far. This can change with the hours, but so far it is quite clear it is an issue of internal domestic security.