Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act (H.R. 2826) introduced by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) by a 15-11 vote. This bill would reduce the refugee cap and would give more power to Congress and the states to decide how many refugees the U.S. should take in and where the refugees should be settled.
The bill would:
- Set the refugee cap at 50,000 and would prevent the President from changing the number without Congressional approval.
- Terminate refugee status for any refugee who returns to their home country, unless their country’s condition and status has changed.
- Prevent the Secretary of DHS from unilaterally waiving most grounds of inadmissibility, including criminal convictions, for refugees.
- Provide for regular security vetting of each admitted refugee until the refugee adjusts immigration status to lawful permanent resident.
- Prevent DHS for waiving most grounds of inadmissibility and deportability for refugees attempting to adjust their status to lawful permanent resident.
- Prohibit resettlement in states/localities that refuse resettlement.
- Adjust the refugee screening process to reduce fraud.
- Require the Government Accountability Office to issue a report on the security of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (including the screening and processing procedures); the number of refugees who have been convicted of terrorism-related offenses since 2006; and the use of federally-funded benefit programs by refugees resettled in the United States.
“My bill modernizes America’s refugee program to keep pace with the security challenges of today’s world. It enacts stronger vetting of refugees, gives states and communities the power to decline resettlement, and lowers the annual refugee ceiling to the number recommended by President Trump. Overall, my bill will protect the integrity of the refugee program, reduce fraud, and improve national security,” Rep. Labrador wrote in his press release.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) cosponsored the bill and said that “the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act maintains our nation’s generosity toward those fleeing persecution in their homeland and also makes a number of critical reforms to the refugee program to ensure it works in Americans’ best interest”.
Read more on this bill at the House Judiciary Committee.
Updated: Thu, Jul 13th 2017 @ 11:25am EDT