Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Reps. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, and John Curtis, R-Utah, released a joint statement June 19 ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20.
The legislators introduced a bipartisan, bicameral resolution — House Resolution 902 and Senate Resolution 545 — that acknowledges the many contributions refugees have made to America in the past 40 years since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980 and recognizes the continued need for bipartisan support of efforts to welcome refugees.
“On June 20th, we celebrate World Refugee Day to honor the resilience of refugees and recognize their many contributions to the fabric of American society and countries around the world — particularly as refugees have been working on the frontlines in essential jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote the legislators. “Now is a time to come together in a show of solidarity with refugees globally. We must abide by the cherished domestic and international legal obligations of the United States to protect refugees who flee war and persecution, in search of religious liberty, democracy, peace, hope and freedom. We must live up to our values as Americans and support the most vulnerable among us. On this World Refugee Day, we invite all to join us in lifting up the stories of refugees in our communities and all across our great nation.”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980, which created the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program and the U.S. asylum system. The resolution commemorates this anniversary and reaffirms a commitment to the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program.
This program is a lifesaving solution critical to global humanitarian efforts that serves to strengthen global security; advance U.S. foreign policy goals and national security interests; support countries that host hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of refugees; collaborate with and support the efforts of the international community to support and resettle vulnerable populations; stabilize sensitive conflicts and regions around the globe; and encourage other nations to contribute to this cause through humanitarian support, resettlement and finding strategies to address existing conflict and prevent future conflict.
The full texts of the House and Senate resolutions are available at bit.ly/2AQokRi and bit.ly/2UXSn0b.