WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) led the bicameral introduction of the Refugee Protection Act of 2022.
In response to the Trump Administration’s attempts to shut the nation’s doors to refugees and asylum seekers, the Refugee Protection Act of 2022 builds upon prior iterations of the legislation introduced by Leahy and Lofgren by bolstering the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), restoring due process for asylum seekers, and expanding protections for refugees, for immigrants cooperating with law enforcement, and for foreign nationals assisting U.S. troops.
“Today, there are more refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally-displaced persons than at any time in history. The ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Venezuela, among others, keep adding to this growing crisis,” said Chair Lofgren. "The United States has long been a global leader in offering safety and protection to victims of terror, abuse, and brutal regimes. The Refugee Protection Act provides long-needed fixes to our nation’s refugee and asylum programs and ensures we continue to lead by example in assisting the world's most vulnerable people.”
“One of the most important causes of my time in the Senate has been fighting for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing the horrors of oppression and persecution,” said Sen. Leahy. “The world is in the midst of an historic refugee crisis, exacerbated by the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the war in Ukraine, and other conflicts. Now, more than ever, the United States must recommit to its time-honored role as a safe haven for the persecuted and the oppressed. I am proud to reintroduce an updated version of the Refugee Protection Act one final time so that we can carry on the cause of protecting the world’s most vulnerable.”
The House bill is cosponsored by 8 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives: Representatives Nadler, Jayapal, Panetta, Sara Jacobs, Lowenthal, Norton, Scanlon, and Blumenauer.
The Refugee Protection Act of 2022 is endorsed by a wide range of refugee, asylum, immigration, and faith-based organizations. A section-by-section analysis can be found here. Text of the legislation can be found here.
African Human Rights Coalition is proud to be among the many organizations endorsing The Refugee Protection Act. We extend our gratitude to Senator Leahy and Congresswoman Lofgren, for their ongoing support. We welcome the legislation, especially for what it will offer the most vulnerable of refugees and asylum seekers. This extreme vulnerability includes LGBTQI+ refugees who have very few safe protective paths to resettlement or asylum. Many refugees flee criminalizing countries which license state and non-state actors to unleash horrific persecution, to include torture and all forms of violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics. It is still our hope that LGBTQI+ refugees receive special paths, because current routes, especially in Africa, involve hostile host countries, contributing to persecution rather than protection when it comes to LGBTQI+ forcibly displaced people. Melanie Nathan, nathan@AfricanHRC.org Melanie Nathan, nathan@AfricanHRC.org AHRC is available to provide briefings at nathan@AfricanHRC.org