Senate Judiciary Committee Adopts Leahy Amendment Confirming That The U.S. “Must Not Bar Individuals…Based On Their Religion”

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, December 10, 2015) – The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved an amendment authored by Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) confirming that “the United States must not bar individuals from entering into the United States based on their religion.”

Leahy’s amendment was adopted by a vote of 16-4.  Consideration of his amendment came after some made demands earlier this week to shut the nation’s borders to all Muslims.  Leahy spoke out against this hateful rhetoric earlier this week. Many top Republicans and Democrats have condemned this reprehensible proposal.

“Many on this committee have rightfully expressed their outrage about the call earlier this week to shut our borders to Muslims.  Now we need to formally go on the record to reject this reprehensible position,” Leahy said.

Leahy also asked FBI Director James Comey at an oversight hearing Wednesday whether such anti-Muslim rhetoric serves as a recruiting tool for ISIS.  Director Comey confirmed:  “The notion that the U.S. is anti-Muslim is part of ISIL’s narrative and al Qaeda's narrative and other terrorist groups.”

On Thursday, Leahy said the Senate “should heed the call of our national security leaders and send a clear and direct message that America welcomes people from all countries and of all faiths.  Our strength comes from our commitment to the principles of freedom, equality, and liberty.”

Results and a webcast of Thursday’s executive business meeting can be found online

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