This bill would give Congress the power to set the number of refugees that may be admitted in a given year, and set the maximum number of admissible refugees at 60,000 annually.
The President would be kept from admitting additional refugees without Congressional approval. Under current law, the President announces refugee admission caps for each year after consulting with Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments.
State and local governments could enact legislation (or take executive action) rejecting the settlement of refugees within their jurisdiction. Under current law, states don't have a say in whether refugees are resettled in their area.
Admitted refugees would undergo screenings to ensure the legitimacy of their documents. Applicants would also go through recorded interviews with interpreters, and have their internet postings vetted.
If a resettled refugee returns to the country they fled from without a change in the conditions of that country, they would have their status as a refugee terminated.
When processing refugee applications from places considered to be “countries of particular concern”, requests for refugee status made by those who practice minority religions in their home countries would be prioritized.
The Secretary of Homeland Security would be prevented from unilaterally waiving most reasons for inadmissibility (including criminal convictions) for refugee applications. The Secretary would also be prevented from waiving reasons for deportation of refugees trying to adjust their status to lawful permanent resident. In essence, these provisions aim to keep prospective refugees with criminal backgrounds from being admitted, and could lead to deportation of admitted refugees convicted of crimes in the U.S.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) would issue a report on the security of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program including:
- an assessment of the program’s screening and processing procedures,
- the number of refugees convicted of terror-related offenses since 2006,
- and the use of federally-funded benefit programs by refugees in the U.S.