© Getty Images
A House lawmaker wants to require Syrian and Iraqi refugees to complete lie detector tests before being allowed to enter the country.
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) has introduced legislation that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence to certify that the refugee has passed a polygraph as part of the screening process for applicants.
Calvert suggested that the current screening process for refugees, which takes two years on average, is too lax.
“It has become all too clear to many Americans that our security screening processes for individuals wishing to enter our country are insufficient,” he said in a statement. “Peaceful people who wish to come to our country with good intentions have nothing to fear with these additional measures."
He also wants the three agencies to pledge that a potential refugee has handed over biometric data, including DNA, that would be used to check databases for any previous terrorist activity. The refugees would also need to complete background checks that include searching their Internet postings to determine if they are a threat to national security.
The requirements would apply to both refugees from Iraq and Syria and any applicants who had visited either country since March 2011.
Following November's terrorist attacks in Paris, lawmakers have struggled to reach a consensus on how to deal with President Obama's plan to increase the number of refugees accepted into the United States each year.
Republicans, pointing to concerns about national security, have warned that members of terrorist groups could use the program to sneak into the United States disguised as refugees.
The House passed legislation earlier this year that would "pause" the acceptance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees until the administration could show that they didn't pose a risk to national security.
Senate Democrats, however, have pledged to block that bill if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellStudy: Trump tops recent GOP presidents in signing bills in first 100 days Senate passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown Let’s never talk about a government shutdown — ever again MORE (R-Ky.) tries to bring it up. While the Republican leader is expected to try to move legislation on the refugee program early next year, it's unclear what the bill will be.
Calvert's legislation, intended to build on the earlier House bill, would expire after 10 years.
Tags Mitch McConnell