GOP Plans on Reintroducing Legislation to Ban and Deport Immigrants From 'Terrorist' Countries

This past week, Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-SC) announced his intention to update and reintroduce the Stop Terrorists Entry Program Act (STEP) that would prohibit “the admission of aliens from countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism as well as Yemen to the United States.” Barrett originally introduced the legislation back in 2003 and believes recent events have created an even greater need to “secure America” by amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to ban immigrants from Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Yemen and Syria from ever stepping foot in the U.S.:

While President Obama may have declared an end to the War on Terror, it is clear our enemies did not get the message. Twice in the past two months, radical Islamic terrorists have attacked our nation and the Administration has failed to adapt its national security and immigration policies to counter the renewed resolve of those who seek to harm our citizens…In light of these unfortunate facts, I intend to introduce legislation that will enhance our national security through common sense changes to our current immigration laws. The STEP Act of 2010 bars the admission of aliens from countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism [...]

However, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) points out that neither alleged Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan nor Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who has been charged with trying to detonate a bomb on a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day, would’ve been “affected in the slightest” by Barrett’s proposed bill. NIAC has launched a national campaign against the bill, which it describes as “offensive to American principles, harmful to US interests,” and discriminatory. Barrett is currently running for governor of South Carolina and was recently criticized for missing more than one-third of all votes taken in 2009, “by far the highest number among all members.”


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