Leahy & Lofgren Introduce Bicameral Refugee Protection Act of 2019

November 21, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA 19) led the bicameral introduction of the Refugee Protection Act of 2019.  Building upon previous versions of the Refugee Protection Act introduced by Leahy and Lofgren, the Refugee Protection Act of 2019 is a comprehensive blueprint for restoring and reinvigorating U.S. refugee and asylum systems in response to the Trump administration’s attempts to shut the nation’s doors to refugees and asylum seekers.

“As the world faces the worst refugee crisis in recorded history, the United States should be embracing our role as the humanitarian leader of the world – not retreating from it, as the Trump administration has shamefully done,” Leahy said.  “In doing so, the Trump administration has abandoned decades of bipartisan support for our refugee admissions program as a bulwark of our national security and foreign policy interests.  The Refugee Protection Act of 2019 lays out a vision for how America should be responding to this worldwide refugee crisis – a vision that reflects who we are and have always been: a welcoming refuge for the persecuted and the oppressed.”    

“Today, there are more refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally-displaced persons today than at any time since World War II, and ongoing conflicts in Syria, Venezuela and Burkina Faso, among others, keep adding to this growing crisis,” said Rep. Lofgren. "The United States has long been a global leader in offering safety and protection to victims of terror, abuse, and brutal regimes, and we must continue that American tradition. The Refugee Protection Act provides long-needed fixes to our nation’s refugee and asylum programs and ensures America continues to lead by example in assisting the world's most vulnerable people.”

The Senate bill is cosponsored by 16 Senators: Senators Leahy, Harris, Booker, Hirono, Markey, Shaheen, Gillibrand, Blumenthal, Cardin, Wyden, Murray, Sanders, Reed, Merkley, Warren, and Klobuchar.

The House bill is cosponsored by 31 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives: Representatives Lofgren, Nadler, Jayapal, Neguse, Castro, Crow, Dean, DeLauro, DeSaulnier, Engel, Escobar, Espaillat, Garcia, Grijalva, Higgins, Johnson, Khanna, Lowenthal, McGovern, Napolitano, Norton, Pallone, Panetta, Quigley, Raskin, Sires, Smith, Swalwell, Watson Coleman, Welch, and Tlaib.

The Refugee Protection Act of 2019 is endorsed by a wide range of refugee, asylum, immigration, and faith-based organizations. A short outline of the bill can be found here, and a sectional analysis can be found here. Text of the legislation can be found here.

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