CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin met with a number of refugees from Syria and Iraq on Tuesday to make a point about legislation now before Congress.

Durbin said he will vote against legislation that would prevent Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the U.S. until there are guarantees they won’t be a security threat.

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The senator said the refugees he had gathered in his Chicago office already face the most rigorous screening of any travelers coming to the U.S.

“We can’t guarantee that a person we meet on the street today is not going to be a criminal tomorrow. I mean, that happens, and it’s sad when it does, but these people are put to a standard which is higher and stricter than any other standard for people entering the United States,” he said.

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Othman Al Ani, a refugee from Iraq, said he had to wait 4 years 6 months for approval to enter the U.S. before he was allowed in three years ago.

“The fact is, what these applicants for refugee status go through is … the closest scrutiny one can possibly imagine before they’re allowed in the United States,” Durbin said.

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The senator pointed out many more visitors come to the U.S. every day without such scrutiny, and he said accepting refugees is the right, common sense thing to do.