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house Bill H.R. 390

Should the U.S. Provide Emergency Relief to Religious & Ethnic Minorities Targeted for Genocide by ISIS in Iraq & Syria?

Argument in favor

The religious and ethnic minorities who have survived ISIS’s genocide need emergency relief from the U.S., which also needs to lead the charge to bring the war criminals who perpetrated the genocide to justice.

Joy's Opinion
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06/06/2017
Yes, let's close loopholes that are making it difficult to prosecute war criminals. And yes, let's help survivors of genocide. While the language specifically lists christians as targets of genocide, it doesn't limit support to that group. So come on people, here's an example of a bi-partisan attempt to actually do some good. Is it perfect? No, but it's progress.
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Chrissboom's Opinion
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06/06/2017
You wanna stop the next Hitler? He's in Syria, he's committing genocide.
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operaman's Opinion
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06/06/2017
A Yea with caveat. Notice the question says "Should US…" what ever happened to the U.N. being asked? The truth is the Disaster Relief portion of the U.N. is a disaster within itself. The U.S. pumps money into the U.N. fund to see it stolen by those creating the disaster; Sudan and Somalia could be sited as an example. Fortunately, the U.S. has many charitable organization that would offer more assistance if we're not for their safety. Areas should be cordoned off for Disaster Relief and patrolled heavily. Violators should be hanged and malicious local troops should be punished. And please keep in mind the this is humanitarian relief, not an opportunity for more immigration transfers. Every sad story shouldn't be looked upon as a trip to the U.S. The question was "Should U.S…" Have you heard of China, Russia or Mexico voluntarily step forward. No. What about Canada?
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Argument opposed

The U.S. shouldn’t be singling out particular religious or ethnic groups for emergency relief simply because they were targeted for genocide by ISIS. It also shouldn’t make an effort to bring ISIS war criminals to justice.

Patricia's Opinion
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06/05/2017
I support giving relief to refugees, but to give relief on a condition of the refugees' faith is a slippery slope I don't feel we should be going down.
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George 's Opinion
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06/05/2017
We should support all peoples impacted by the atrocities of ISIS and not just the Christian minorities.
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TuckerWantsLiberty's Opinion
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06/05/2017
"Is this a good thing?" is not the question at hand. The question this bill is asking - the only question that any bill ever asks - is "Can and should the government do this?" Not "Should it be done?" but rather "Should it be done by government?" The answer is an unambiguous, indisputable "No." This is not what government is for - not our government, not ANY government. If you then proceed to the next question and decide that it is a good thing, then by all means give of your own resources to provide support. But government is not and should not be designed, equipped, or authorized to address this.
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What is House Bill H.R. 390?

This bill would provide emergency relief to religious minorities in Iraq and Syria who’ve survived genocide at the hands of ISIS and ensure that the perpetrators are investigated and held accountable. It would provide support to entities that are helping genocide survivors in-country, including faith-based entities, and those that are conducting criminal investigations into genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq and Syria.

The bill would create a “Priority Two” (“P-2”) designation for the region’s Christians and other genocide survivors so that they can access an overseas application interview for the U.S. refugee admissions program without a referral from the UN. Such refugee applicants would be vetted like other Iraqi or Syrian applicants, and couldn’t be admitted until they’ve cleared the vetting.

An assessment of the humanitarian vulnerabilities, needs, and triggers that force survivors to flee their homes would be required by this bill. It would also identify warning signs of violence or persecution against survivors from vulnerable religious or ethnic minority groups in Iraq or Syria.

The bill calls for the identification of gaps in U.S. law that make it more difficult to prosecute foreign perpetrators of genocide, crimes, against, humanity, or war crimes who come to the U.S. along with Americans who commit such crimes. Foreign countries would be encouraged to add identifying information about suspected perpetrators of such crimes to their security databases and screening procedures.

Impact

Religious and ethnic minorities who’ve been targeted for genocide by ISIS in Iraq and Syria; and federal agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 390

$8.00 Million
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost $8 million over the 2017-2022 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced this bill along with Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) after putting forward a similar bill during the last session of Congress to provide emergency relief to survivors of genocide and hold the perpetrators accountable. Rep. Smith offered the following statement upon the bill’s introduction in January:

“The reintroduction of this bill is timely because just last month I saw in Iraq the lack of humanitarian aid for Christian genocide survivors. These genocide survivors told me the United States and global community had abandoned them. They are at-risk from freezing winter temperatures and require emergency help.”

Rep. Eshoo added the following:

“Tens of thousands of Christian genocide survivors in Iraq and Syria need our help now and it is essential that emergency humanitarian aid for the survivors be provided. I thank Chairman Smith for his passionate leadership on this issue and I look forward to working with him and all my colleagues in Congress to quickly move this aid package and bring relief to those who continue to suffer.”

This legislation passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee on a voice vote, and has the support of 45 bipartisan cosponsors in the House — including 38 Republicans and seven Democrats.

 

Of NoteDuring the last Congress, the House voted 393-0 to condemn ISIS atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities as genocide.

 

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: DFID - UK Dept. for International Development via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017

Official Title

An Act to provide relief for victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes who are members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Iraq and Syria, for accountability for perpetrators of these crimes, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate Passed October 11th, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
  • The house Passed June 6th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 10th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Yes, let's close loopholes that are making it difficult to prosecute war criminals. And yes, let's help survivors of genocide. While the language specifically lists christians as targets of genocide, it doesn't limit support to that group. So come on people, here's an example of a bi-partisan attempt to actually do some good. Is it perfect? No, but it's progress.
    Like (53)
    Follow
    Share
    I support giving relief to refugees, but to give relief on a condition of the refugees' faith is a slippery slope I don't feel we should be going down.
    Like (191)
    Follow
    Share
    We should support all peoples impacted by the atrocities of ISIS and not just the Christian minorities.
    Like (140)
    Follow
    Share
    "Is this a good thing?" is not the question at hand. The question this bill is asking - the only question that any bill ever asks - is "Can and should the government do this?" Not "Should it be done?" but rather "Should it be done by government?" The answer is an unambiguous, indisputable "No." This is not what government is for - not our government, not ANY government. If you then proceed to the next question and decide that it is a good thing, then by all means give of your own resources to provide support. But government is not and should not be designed, equipped, or authorized to address this.
    Like (29)
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    There have been attacks on many religious minorities in many different countries: Iraq, Syria and Egypt. But we should give shelter to anyone of any faith rather than prejudice our efforts by only helping Christians as Trump suggested.
    Like (26)
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    Religion should have to say in who we help. We need to care for ALL the victims.
    Like (22)
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    You wanna stop the next Hitler? He's in Syria, he's committing genocide.
    Like (21)
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    People in distress should receive help regardless of religious affiliation.
    Like (19)
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    The text of the bill is too vague in who exactly the money would be going to. I have little faith in who our government deems the good or bad guys in overseas situations, so I'd like to know exactly which organizations are getting funded before voting yes.
    Like (18)
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    “faith-based entities” <- NO. NO. NO. NO TAX DOLLARS TO RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS. NOT ONE PENNY! “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a absolute wall of separation between Church & State.” Thomas Jefferson
    Like (16)
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    Religious affiliation should have no bearing on one's ability to receive foreign aid from the United States.
    Like (15)
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    How much? To where specifically? Why only religious minorities? Muslims that resist them are being targeted as well. If we help some we must help all that need it.
    Like (15)
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    A Yea with caveat. Notice the question says "Should US…" what ever happened to the U.N. being asked? The truth is the Disaster Relief portion of the U.N. is a disaster within itself. The U.S. pumps money into the U.N. fund to see it stolen by those creating the disaster; Sudan and Somalia could be sited as an example. Fortunately, the U.S. has many charitable organization that would offer more assistance if we're not for their safety. Areas should be cordoned off for Disaster Relief and patrolled heavily. Violators should be hanged and malicious local troops should be punished. And please keep in mind the this is humanitarian relief, not an opportunity for more immigration transfers. Every sad story shouldn't be looked upon as a trip to the U.S. The question was "Should U.S…" Have you heard of China, Russia or Mexico voluntarily step forward. No. What about Canada?
    Like (12)
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    100% yes however, after reading the bill, this sounds repackaged to be more politically correct to discriminate religiously. I agree we need to send aid but we need to be sending aid not just towards specific religious groups.
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    This is far too vague, and could easily be used to perpetrate discriminatory aid practices against equally-oppressed religious or minority groups.
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    This bill is too vague. It doesn't clearly define how much money and to whom it will go. I'm all for helping refugees, but it has to be within our means as a country to pay for it.
    Like (11)
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    We in this country are so blessed, because of this I feel it is our responsibility to help those less fortunate. I don't believe Christians should be put ahead of other faiths just because they are Christian, but I do believe that those who are singled out for persecution for pretty much any reason (religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual preferences, size to name a few) merit our protection and help. I was proud of the US for being a moral leader in the world...and someday hope to be proud of them again.
    Like (9)
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    Protect our brother and sisters in Christ! Many are being slaughtered for their faith.
    Like (8)
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    It is a christians duty to help other christians in these times of horrors. These are our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, our duty is to their protection.
    Like (8)
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    The US should be doing it's part to help out the world community. ISIS has been systematically killing of religious and ethnic minorities within their territory and that's a genocide by my, AND THE UN's definition. Those that are opposed to this clearly are only trying to make this into religious politics. It's not my or any lawmaker's fault that ISIS is targeting Kurds and Christians and Jews. ISIS is persecuting religious minorities and that's what matters. We should try to help all victims of ISIS's genocides, so drop the religious politics and listen to your humanity.
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