Blumenthal wants to strengthen security, as Syrian refugees look for respite here

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HARTFORD - Will thousands of Syrian refugees still resettle here on American soil? That question up in the air this Friday.

On Thursday the House voted on a bill that could halt the program, while creating more stringent rules for refugee screenings.

Connecticut’s House members were split, with Congressman Joe Courtney and Congressman Jim Himes crossing party lines and voting with Republicans to pass the measure.

On Friday, Senator Richard Blumenthal told Fox 61 there is a question whether that House bill actually halts refugees from coming over.

He told us his team is reviewing the language of the bill.

Blumenthal said he’s not in favor of stopping the refugee program, but he does think we need tp tighten up our security screenings.

Connecticut’s senior Senator said it's not just about increasing our refugee screenings but also putting a microscope on other ways foreigners travel into the U.S., specifically naming the Visa Waiver Program. It allows citizens of 38 countries to come to the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.

Blumenthal wants increased security measures put in place for that, and also for the refugee screening process.

"I'm looking for ways to strengthen and improve the house bill which I think can be done because security is so important,” said Blumenthal. “Even as we resettle refugees from countries who are fleeing terrorism and violence and persecution there."

Congress is expected to take the issue up after the Thanksgiving holiday.