For Immediate Release: November 21, 2019
Church World Service Praises Introduction of Refugee Protection Act
CWS urges all Members of Congress to cosponsor this legislation, protect refugees and asylum seekers.
Washington, D.C. – Church World Service today praised the introduction of the Refugee Protection Act of 2019, legislation that would restore U.S. leadership in refugee protection and resettlement. The Act is championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) and is a critical piece of legislation that would modernize the U.S. refugee resettlement program and the U.S. asylum system, improve family reunification, and strengthen protections for refugees and asylum seekers. The legislation will be introduced during an event on Capitol Hill on Thursday, November 21st. Church World Service calls on all Members of Congress to support the Refugee Protection Act of 2019.
“Welcoming refugees is profoundly American. We are a nation that is made stronger and more secure through a robust refugee resettlement program and asylum system. The world’s vulnerable seek refuge to rebuild lives free from fear. Resettling refugees and welcoming asylum seekers is the right thing to do, not only for the sake of the refugee families but also for the American communities that will be revitalized and strengthened by their new neighbors,” said the Reverend John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service. “As the administration sadly abdicates its responsibility on refugee protection and resettlement, Congress is showing what true leadership looks like by introducing the Refugee Protection Act.”
Since the passage of the 1980 Refugee Act, the United States has set an average admissions goal of 95,000 refugees annually. The Trump administration has severely cut refugee admissions by 80%, causing irreparable damage to refugee families, American communities, and the infrastructure in place to welcome and support new arrivals. Across the country, hundreds of elected officials, congregations, and business leaders from all fifty states have been showing their support for refugee resettlement.
The Refugee Protection Act reaffirms our moral and legal obligations and restores our nation’s role as a safe and welcoming home for those suffering persecution around the world.This bill will ensure we return to leading by example and advance our commitment to protecting and assisting the world’s most vulnerable people The Refugee Protection Act is supported by a wide range of refugee, immigration, and faith-based organizations. More information can be found in the bill text, one pager, summary, and section-by-section.
Senator Leahy introduced the House version of the Refugee Protection Act with the following cosponsors: Harris, Booker, Hirono, Markey, Shaheen, Gillibrand, Blumenthal, Cardin, Wyden, Murray, Sanders, Reed, Merkley, Warren, and Klobuchar. Representative Lofgren introduced the House version with 30 cosponsors, including Representatives Nadler, Jayapal, Neguse, Castro, Crow, Dean, DeLauro, DeSaulnier, Engel, Escobar, Espaillat, Garcia (TX), Grijalva, Higgins, Johnson (GA), Khanna, Lowenthal, McGovern, Napolitano, Norton, Pallone, Panetta, Quigley, Raskin, Sires, Smith (WA), Swalwell, Tlaib, Watson Coleman, and Welch.