Connolly bill would reverse Trump refugee restrictions

Gerry ConnollyCongressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Vice Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was joined by 60 members in introducing the Lady Liberty Act, legislation to reverse the Trump administration’s recent actions to severely limit refugee resettlement in the United States.

“The Trump administration is once again slamming the door on refugees,” Connolly said. “Against a record high global refugee crisis, the Trump administration’s record-low refugee admissions cap is dangerous and un-American. The Lady Liberty Act will reverse this callous backslide and restore America’s leadership role in refugee resettlement.”

“No one chooses to be a refugee,” Connolly said. “These people are seeking safety and a better life. Congress has a moral responsibility to stand up to the President and let the world know we are still a welcoming and compassionate nation.”

The Lady Liberty Act would require the President to set a goal of admitting no less than 110,000 refugees annually. Under the administration’s recent action, refugee resettlements would be capped at 30,000 refugees in fiscal year 2019, down from 45,000 this year. Since 1980, the U.S. has resettled more than 3 million refugees and set an average annual goal of 95,000 refugee admissions.  The previous low was under President Reagan in 1986, when only 67,000 refugees were admitted. There are currently 25 million refugees around the world.

Connolly’s legislation has been endorsed by The Alliance, CASA, Church World Service (CWS), Ethiopian Community Development Council, Family Action Network Movement (FANM), HIAS, Human Rights First, International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), Veterans for American Ideals, We Are All Americans.

The Lady Liberty Act was cosponsored by Representatives Barragan, Bass, Beyer, Blumenauer, Cicilline, Clarke, Cohen, Correa, DeLauro, DeSaulnier, Deutch, Dingell, Ellison, Espaillat, Foster, Gallego, Al Green, Gutiérrez, Hastings, Jackson Lee, Jayapal, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Hank Johnson, Kaptur, Keating, Khanna, Lee, Lieu, Ben Ray Luján, McCollum, McEachin, McGovern, Meeks, Moore, Norton, Pascrell, Pallone, Panetta, Payne, Peters, Pingree, Pocan, Quigley, Raskin, Roybal-Allard, Rush, Tim Ryan, Schakowsky, Scott, Serrano, Sires, Adam Smith, Soto, Wasserman Schultz, Watson Coleman, Welch, Frederica Wilson, Vargas, Veasey, Visclosky.

Text of the bill is available here.


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