Bill would allow states that 'disapprove' of refugees to close their doors
Remember when President Obama said that he would allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. over the next several years, and dozens of politicians across the country promised to “close their doors” on them? Remember when legal experts pointed out that local governments didn't have that power?
Forget about it.
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is marking up a bill Wednesday that would restrict refugee settlement in the U.S. by allowing states and local governments that “disapprove” of refugees to veto their resettlement.
In the bill’s current language (“The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act"), the government could also place refugees under continual surveillance until their legal status changes.
Refugee Council USA, a national refugee advocacy organization, notes that the bill would also create new procedures to “significantly” delay resettlement for many refugees.
“Under the guise of protecting people from religious persecution by prioritizing religious minorities from countries of particular concern, the bill could effectively discriminate against refugees who are Muslim, keeping them from being resettled in the United States,” Refugee Council USA, a national refugee advocacy organization, said in a statement.
“The bill would keep refugees from adjusting to Lawful Permanent Residency,” until they have been here for three years, which would delay family reunification and integration opportunities. It would also revoke the refugee status of any refugee who returns to their country of origin even if only briefly for a funeral or family emergency.”
This is a developing story.