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house Bill H. Res. 444

Should the House Reaffirm America’s Commitment to the Safety of Refugees?

Argument in favor

Refugees and displaced persons are among the most vulnerable populations in the world, and they deserve the protection of governments who can afford to take them. Expressing the House’s support for refugees and the refugee resettlement program would help achieve this goal.

jimK's Opinion
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09/24/2019
A resolution confirming Congressional commitment to honoring traditional American values would normally not be needed- but unfortunately we are at a point where it is. A resolution does nothing more than provide a reminder of who we are and what we stand for. It is also a commitment by our Congressional House to defend those immigrants who are otherwise defenseless against race based policies that demonize and dehumanize them, and that suffer the gross mistreatment from those afraid of losing white supremacist/nationalist entitlement in a more diverse society.
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Mark's Opinion
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09/24/2019
We are the United States of America. We ARE a nation of immigrants. We stand for freedom, liberty and equality. We DO NOT believe in racial superiority and concentration camps, for adults or children. The evils of the wannabe dictator in the office of the President and his morally bankrupt administration and supporters in the GOP must pay the price for their crimes. It is time for impeachment and then trials.
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Dave's Opinion
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09/24/2019
United States’ bipartisan commitment to promoting the safety, health, education, and well-being of refugees and displaced persons amid war, persecution, and violence, this country need to be a beacon oh hope. Our strength is our caring.
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Argument opposed

This toothless resolution wouldn’t change current administration policy on the topic of refugee admissions. If the House is serious about this issue, it should pass actual legislation, not a non-binding resolution. It’s also worth considering if it’s advisable for the U.S. to admit more refugees in the light of the security risks they might pose.

Dawn 's Opinion
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09/24/2019
The house needs to assure the safety of CITIZENS FIRST. Trump 2020 Build the Wall
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Wayne's Opinion
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09/24/2019
This another waste of time refugees are protected by the constitution already. How about they Pledge to protect the more then 70,000 Americans that are killed by drugs rape and murder committed by the illegal persons coming over the border. They need to also need to allow a citizen oversight committee to investigate their actions and deeds and allow that same committee the ability to impeach or refer the to the justice department for further investigation and Immediate removal from office until the completion of their investigation. This must be done to save our corrupt government... sad but true! Look our Chuck S .
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Carmine's Opinion
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09/22/2019
Stop wasting money on these so called refugees & help our own homeless get shelter/food!!!
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What is House Bill H. Res. 444?

This resolution would express the House’s reaffirmation of the United States’ bipartisan commitment to promoting the safety, health, education, and well-being of refugees and displaced persons amid war, persecution, and violence. It would also express the House’s support for those who have risked their lives by working, either individually or with governmental organizations or international agencies, to provide life-saving assistance and protection to displaced persons. It would also underscore the importance of the U.S. refugee resettlement program as a critical tool for U.S. global leadership to leverage foreign policy, strengthen national and regional security, and encourage internationally solidarity with host countries. 

This resolution would also call upon the Secretary of State and U.S. Ambassador to the UN to: 

  • Continue supporting robust funding for refugee protection and humanitarian response overseas and settlement to the U.S.
  • Uphold U.S. international leadership in responding to displacement crises with humanitarian assistance and restore America’s leadership role in protecting vulnerable refugee populations.
  • Work with the international community to find solutions to existing conflicts, promote peace and reconciliation, and prevent the start of new conflicts.
  • Continue supporting the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ efforts.
  • Advance nongovernmental organizations’ work to protect refugees regardless of their countries of origin or religious beliefs.
  • Continue to alleviate pressures on frontline refugee host countries that absorb the majority of the world’s refugees through humanitarian and development support.
  • Respond to the global refugee crisis by meeting robust refugee admissions goals.

Finally, this resolution would reaffirm the goals of World Refugee Day and reiterate the strong commitment to protect the millions of refugees who live without material, social, or legal protections.

As a simple resolution, this legislation is non-binding and wouldn’t advance beyond the House if passed.

Impact

Refugees; refugee admissions; the House; Secretary of State; U.S. Ambassador to the UN; and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 444

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced this resolution from the 115th Congress to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to protect refugees. After this resolution passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee on World Refugee Day (June 20, 2019), Rep. Lieu said in a press release

“On World Refugee Day, we renew our commitment to showing compassion and support for those forced to flee their homes. Refugees are fleeing home because of a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. The United States resettlement program is critical to global humanitarian efforts. These efforts serve to strengthen global security, advance United States foreign policy goals, and support regional host countries while also serving individuals and families in need.”

When he introduced this resolution in the 115th Congress, Rep. Lieu said

“Right now, the world faces the worst displacement crisis in history. As refugees flee violence and persecution in search of peace and freedom, they are faced with some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. Children are set back a generation without access to education, families are stuck in waiting, and countries that neighbor conflict zones struggle to accommodate for the sudden influx of people. As an immigrant and a Veteran, I know that protecting the most vulnerable people among us via the U.S. resettlement program and humanitarian assistance abroad promotes our core values and protects our national security interests. It is critical that we answer the growing protectionist attitudes throughout the world with a clear, bipartisan message that we stand #WithRefugees, regardless of their national origin or religion.  On this World Refugee Day, I am proud to introduce legislation with Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and over 60 of our House colleagues to reaffirm U.S. leadership in promoting the health, safety and well-being of refugees.”

This resolution passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee by voice vote with the support of 74 bipartisan cosponsors, including 71 Democrats and three Republicans. Save the Children supports this resolution.


Of NoteAs of March 31, 2019 — six months into FY2019 — State Dept. figures showed that 12,151 refugees had arrived in the U.S. by that point in the fiscal year. If that rate remains constant through FY2019, the total number of refugees admitted into the U.S. will be 19% below the 30,000 ceiling set by President Trump in September 2018. However, refugee groups say, this isn’t because people no longer want to come to the U.S. as refugees — instead, it’s because far fewer people have been able to gain admission under the Trump administration. 

In fact, in 2018, the U.S. only resettled 22,000 refugees — just over a quarter of the number resettled in 2016 (85,000). Even the 2016 figure is a significant decrease from previous years. For example, in the 1980s, the U.S. regularly settled about 200,000 refugees a year.

Until the current administration, both Democratic and Republican administrations championed the refugee resettlement program. Now, for the first time in over 30 years, the U.S. is no longer the world leader in resettling refugees — instead, Canada has taken that position. Looking at America’s refugee resettlement rate per capita, the comparison is even worse: at three refugees per 1,000 citizens, the U.S. has one of the lowest per capita resettlement rates in the world.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there were 19.6 million refugees worldwide in 2017 — up from 9.9 million in 2012. In 2017, children under 18 years old represented 52% of the refugee population. Syria (6.3 million), Afghanistan (2.6 million), South Sudan (2.4 million), Myanmar (1.2 million), and Somalia (986,400) were the top five countries of origin for refugees in 2017.

Global refugees numbers increased again in 2018. The United Nations High Commissioners on Refugees estimates that last year, there were more than 70.8 million displaced persons worldwide, including nearly 26 million refugees, over 41 million internally displaced persons, and 3.5 million people seeking asylum. On a daily basis, those figures work out to 37,000 people being displaced from their homes every day.

Every year, the president, in consultation with Congress, determines the numerical ceiling for refugee admissions each year. The State Dept. and Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) are the primary agencies responsible for assessing the viability of different refugee populations for admission, as well as U.S. government officials’ ability to process them. Historically, the average number of refugees allowed into the U.S. each fiscal year has been around 95,000. However, the Trump administration has set much lower numbers: when President Trump took office in January 2017, he lowered the FY2017 refugee admissions ceiling from 110,000 (set under the Obama administration) to 50,000. In FY2018, the Trump administration set the ceiling at 45,000; it again lowered the ceiling, this time to 30,000, for FY2019

The Trump administration says its current cap of 30,000 refugees for FY2019 is in response to the overwhelming number of asylum seekers arriving at the southern border. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says, “This year’s refugee ceiling reflects the substantial increase in the number of individuals seeking asylum in our country, contributing to a massive backlog of outstanding asylum cases and greater public expense.” Pompeo adds that the administration’s lowering of the refugee ceiling also reflects the need to balance refugees’ needs with U.S. security interests

“This year’s refugee ceiling reflects our commitment to protect the most vulnerable around the world while prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of the American people as President Trump has directed. We must continue to responsibly vet applicants to prevent those who might do harm to our country.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / FatCamera)

AKA

Reaffirming the importance of the United States to promote the safety, health, and well-being of refugees and displaced persons.

Official Title

Reaffirming the importance of the United States to promote the safety, health, and well-being of refugees and displaced persons.

simple resolution Progress


  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedJune 14th, 2019
    A resolution confirming Congressional commitment to honoring traditional American values would normally not be needed- but unfortunately we are at a point where it is. A resolution does nothing more than provide a reminder of who we are and what we stand for. It is also a commitment by our Congressional House to defend those immigrants who are otherwise defenseless against race based policies that demonize and dehumanize them, and that suffer the gross mistreatment from those afraid of losing white supremacist/nationalist entitlement in a more diverse society.
    Like (64)
    Follow
    Share
    The house needs to assure the safety of CITIZENS FIRST. Trump 2020 Build the Wall
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    We are the United States of America. We ARE a nation of immigrants. We stand for freedom, liberty and equality. We DO NOT believe in racial superiority and concentration camps, for adults or children. The evils of the wannabe dictator in the office of the President and his morally bankrupt administration and supporters in the GOP must pay the price for their crimes. It is time for impeachment and then trials.
    Like (62)
    Follow
    Share
    United States’ bipartisan commitment to promoting the safety, health, education, and well-being of refugees and displaced persons amid war, persecution, and violence, this country need to be a beacon oh hope. Our strength is our caring.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
    Like (15)
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    That is one of the cruelest, heartless, ignorant questions you could ask! Of course it should!
    Like (12)
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    Absolutely. Re-confirm USA commitment to safety of refugees.
    Like (12)
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    Absolutely yes!! We have done just despicable things to these innocent people looking for the same things our forefathers were looking for! We as AMERICANS, must not turn our backs to them!!!
    Like (12)
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    Refugees and displaced persons are among the most vulnerable populations in the world, and they deserve the protection of governments who can afford to take them. Expressing the House’s support for refugees and the refugee resettlement program would help achieve this goal.
    Like (11)
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    ....And you all must speak out loud in support of the obvious, Refugee redemption and rescue in the truly American way. Are we not a nation of immigrants?
    Like (11)
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    We supposedly support the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, where you came from or your race or religion is not a reason to invalidate those statements. One person's belief cannot change the way that the people treat others. We are human beings living together on this small planet and we need to preserve the earth and protect each person from wherever they came seeking a better life and future for themselves and their families. Many lives are threatened and endangered in the country that they have come from, put yourself in their shoes
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    Yes, we should. After all, we are a nation of immigrants and refugees.
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    Why is this a question if we are truly a nation of decency (current administration excepted)? I want the America back that would not even ask this question.
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    America is NOT full
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    Yes, please -- despite the dishonor and lawlessness of the Trump administration and the utter lack of concern or even basic humanity of our President himself. "No man is an island," Mr. Trump -- or did you skip poetry at your Ivy League school?
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    Of course we need to protect everyone that is in our country. What a crazy question
    Like (7)
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    Protect these people period!!!
    Like (7)
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    True Refugees Ana Displaced Persons—YES..... Others — NO I agree that Refugees and displaced persons are among the most vulnerable populations in the world, and they deserve the protection of governments who can afford to take them. Expressing the House’s support for refugees and the refugee resettlement program would help achieve this goal. However, we are seeing many individuals claiming refugees or a state persecution displaced status, without a justifiable cause in support of, their perceived status. SneakyPete..... 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔. 9.24.19.....
    Like (7)
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    If America is not going to safeguard refugees, how can we possibly justify interfering in international politics at all? What are we fighting for if not human rights? Are we ready to admit we send our children to fight for oil and corporate profit, because otherwise we’d better at least pretend to stand for something worthy of their lives.
    Like (6)
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    We used to be an honorable country who showed mercy and kindness to the refugees and homeless of the world. We need to restore our values.
    Like (6)
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