April 10, 2019

Harris, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Welcome Refugees to the United States

Legislation would prevent U.S. President from manipulating refugee admissions levels 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Tuesday joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), along with 11 of their colleagues, in introducing the Guaranteed Refugee Admissions Ceiling Enhancement (GRACE) Act, legislation that would prevent a U.S. President from setting a Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions at a level below 95,000 in a given fiscal year. In September 2017, the president announced that the cap for fiscal year 2018 refugee admissions would be set at a record-low 45,000, down from 110,000 in the previous year.

“We cannot allow this administration to abdicate our country’s moral responsibility to welcome children and families fleeing ongoing violence and oppression,” said Senator Harris. “The United States I know is a place where refugees are welcomed and encouraged to contribute to society.”

Other Senators co-sponsoring the GRACE Act include Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Dick Durbin (D-IL).

This legislation is endorsed by the Executive Board of Refugee Council USA (RCUSA), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Church World Service, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Amnesty International, HIAS, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Human Rights First, World Relief, Oxfam, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Center for Victims of Torture, CODEPINK, Franciscan Action Network, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, Brooklyn For Peace, North Carolina Justice Center, and STAND, the Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities.

A copy of the GRACE Act can be found HERE.