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H.R. 4086 (114th): Security Verification for Refugees Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 19, 2015.


Security Verification for Refugees Act

This bill requires that, in addition to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) screening, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shall take all actions necessary to ensure that each covered alien receives a background investigation before U.S. refugee admission.

A "covered alien" is any alien applying for U.S. refugee admission who:

is a national or resident of Iraq, Syria, or a country designated as a high-risk country; has no nationality and whose last habitual residence was in Iraq, Syria, or a country designated as a high-risk country; or has been present in Iraq or Syria at any time on or after March 1, 2011. A covered alien:

may not be admitted as a refugee until the FBI certifies to DHS and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) that he or she has received a background investigation sufficient to determine whether the alien is a U.S. security threat; and may only be admitted to the United States after DHS, with the unanimous concurrence of the FBI and the DNI, certifies to Congress that he or she is not such a threat. The Inspector General of DHS shall conduct annual risk-based reviews of all certifications.

DHS shall report monthly to Congress on the total number of admission applications for which a certification was made and the number of covered aliens for whom such a certification was not made for the preceding month. The report shall include for each covered alien for whom a certification was not made the concurrence or nonconcurrence of each person whose concurrence was required by the certification.

The Department of State shall submit annually to Congress:

a list of each country, a national or resident of which submitted an application for U.S. refugee admission; an evaluation of the threat posed by aliens who are nationals or residents of each listed country; and a description of any presence of terrorism, human rights violations, human trafficking, drug trafficking, religious persecution, or other violations of international law, any presence of al Qaeda, Islamic State, or other terrorist groups, or any presence of transnational criminal organizations.