The following op-ed by Speaker Ryan appears on

Paul Ryan: On refugees, balance compassion and safety

November 23, 2015

The terrorist attacks in Paris showed the world just how vulnerable a free society can be. They're also a reminder that this administration's attempt to contain the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has failed. That is why the House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would pause the Syrian refugee program until we can be certain no one coming here is a threat to our country.

Right now, thousands of families continue to pour out of Iraq and Syria to avoid civil war and the horrors of ISIS. Innocent men, women and children of all faiths and backgrounds are seeking asylum in Western countries, including the United States. And America has a long history of helping people in need.

    The sad truth, though, is that there are many people who would like to take advantage of our compassion. Terrorists have made it clear that they intend to infiltrate this refugee population to reach the West and carry out other attacks. Most refugees pose absolutely no threat to us, but we simply don't have a sufficient process for figuring out who each person is and verifying his or her background.

    So the federal government must balance our compassion and our safety. 

    Read the full piece on