Thursday, March 17, 2016

US House considering bill to severely restrict refugee resettlement

Urgent Action Needed!
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Background: On Wednesday, March 16th, the House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee plans to mark up "The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act" (H.R. 4731). As currently drafted, this bill would drastically reduce and cap refugee admissions; place refugees under continual surveillance after they have arrived; and create new procedures that would significantly and potentially indefinitely delay resettlement for many refugees whose lives are in danger, including but not limited to Central Americans, Syrians and Iraqis. The bill would allow state and local governments who "disapprove" of refugees to veto resettlement in their localities. Under the guise of protecting people from religious persecution by prioritizing religious minorities from countries of particular concern, the bill could effectively discriminate against refugees who are Muslim, keeping them from being resettled in the United States. The bill would keep refugees from adjusting to Lawful Permanent Residency until they have been here for three years, which would delay family reunification and integration opportunities. It would also revoke the refugee status of any refugee who returns to their country of origin even if only briefly for a funeral or family emergency.

It is critical that all members of the House Judiciary Committee hear from everyone who supports refugee resettlement NOW as they make decisions about this legislation that would drastically impact the lives of refugees around the world and effectively decimate refugee resettlement in the United States.

Call House Judiciary Committee Members TODAY: 1-866-940-2439
You likely will not be connected with your own Representative's office, since calling committee members is the best way to raise our voices at this moment. Please call multiple times to connect with all committee members.
When your call is answered, tell the receptionist that you want to help WELCOME refugees and that you urge them to REJECT "The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act"

Example: “I support refugee resettlement and I urge the Representative to REJECT "The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act” that is set to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee. This bill would decimate refugee resettlement in the United States by drastically reducing refugee admissions, allowing state and local governments who "disapprove" of refugees to veto resettlement in their localities, and denying life-saving protection to refugees fleeing for their lives. This bill runs counter to the humanitarian leadership of the United States and the welcome of the American people. Please oppose this bill."

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