November 21, 2019

Harris, Leahy, Booker, Lofgren Lead Landmark Legislation to Reinvigorate Nation’s Refugee System

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) on Thursday led the bicameral introduction of the Refugee Protection Act of 2019, 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.

“The United States must always be a place where refugees are welcomed and encouraged to contribute to society,” said Harris. “But, from day one, the Trump administration turned its back on refugees and abdicated our nation’s moral responsibility to welcome children and families fleeing ongoing persecution. It’s not enough to undo the harm that has already been done—we must also revitalize our refugee and asylum system and expand protections for these individuals. That’s why I’m proud to join Senator Leahy in introducing the Refugee Protection Act, which would guarantee that refugees and asylum-seekers are welcomed and supported in our country and that our immigration system respects the basic dignity of every human being.”

The Senate bill is cosponsored by 16 Senators: Senators Harris, Leahy, 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.

A sectional analysis can be found here.

Text of the legislation can be found here.

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