The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, Chaired by Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), held a March 22 hearing, “Living Up to America’s Promise: The Need to Bolster the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.” The hearing examined the current status of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, the refugee vetting process, the contributions refugees and former refugees make to our economy and our communities, and innovations in refugee processing and resettlement.
Additionally, lawmakers raisedthe importance of Congress passing bipartisan legislation—supported by LeadingAge—that would expand the number of refugees permitted to enter the United States. These programs could also assist all refugees and asylum seekers in finding employment more quickly and shorten the waiting period to receive work authorization.
The hearing was an opportunity to discuss the lawful pathways to come to the United States through the Refugee Admissions Program. During the hearing, the Subcommittee heard from:
Dauda Sesay, founding member and president, Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants
William (Bill) Canny, executive director of Migration and Refugee Services, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
BG Christopher M. Burns, U.S. Army (ret.).
In a final exchange, Subcommittee Chair Padilla and Mr. Canny discussed how refugees are employed and how resettlement agencies help them get established in the country. Chair Padilla closed the hearing by calling on lawmakers to work together in the historically bipartisan spirit of the refugee program to uphold our “moral duty” to help those fleeing their homeland looking for safety.
The hearing can be viewed on the Subcommittee’s website, here. Chairman Padilla’s press release is available here.