President Menendez leads Senate resolution on World Refugee Day

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WASHINGTON – US Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) And Bob Menendez (DN.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, were joined today by 21 from his fellow Democrats in introducing a Senate resolution reaffirming the United States’ commitment to promoting the safety, health, education and well-being of millions of refugees and displaced people, including children, who are fleeing war, persecution or torture in search of peace, hope and freedom. Introduced on World Refugee Day (June 20), the resolution draws attention to the current global refugee crisis and reaffirms the United States’ commitment to work with our partners to protect the millions of refugees who live without material, social or legal protection. , and emphasizes that refugees make a major contribution to local economies and serve as frontline healthcare professionals and essential workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.

“Due to climate change, food insecurity, conflict and disease, people are forcibly displaced at the fastest rate we have seen in years. On World Refugee Day, the United States must reaffirm its commitment to humanitarian assistance and refugee resettlement. The Biden administration has taken good steps so far and we must continue to deliver on our commitment to protect refugees, as set out in this resolution. I thank President Menendez for his leadership on this issue and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that the United States is once again a haven for the weary, poor and congested masses, ” Senator Markey said.

“The international community is today facing the biggest refugee crisis in history. As a result of devastating conflicts, disasters, corruption and climate change, more men, women and children than ever are fleeing all they know in search of basic human dignity, security, safety and health “, President Menendez said. “This resolution serves as a call to action for the United States to continue to honor our legacy as a compassionate and generous champion of human rights and a bastion of hope for marginalized communities. Failure to vigorously support the world’s most vulnerable not only undermines our moral leadership but, more importantly, makes us complicit in the perpetuation of their suffering. The United States is expected to increase the number of refugees received and resettled in the United States to as many as 125,000 refugees in the next fiscal year.

Today’s resolution follows a 2020 Report of the Democratic staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the global crisis of forced migration commissioned by Menendez, a member of the ranking at the time. The report represented the culmination of a comprehensive SFRC investigation into the latest challenges that global forced migration presents to local communities, national governments, the international system, and the vulnerable men, women and children themselves who are forced to migrate. migrate.

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tim Kaine joined President Menendez and Senator Markey to co-sponsor the resolution. (D-Va.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (DN.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga .), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Jack Reed (DR.I.).

“Every 2 seconds, someone is forced to leave their home due to conflict or persecution. This is the reality of nearly 82 million people around the world ”, said Senator Cardin. “On this World Refugee Day, we recommit ourselves to making it easier for vulnerable people to stay safe, no matter where they come from. The United States must live by our values ​​and help build a better future for all the people of the world.

“The United States has a long tradition of welcoming and resettling refugees, and those fleeing violence and conflict from countries around the world have become a precious part of the fabric of American society,” said Senator Coons. “Each year on World Refugee Day, we re-engage in this long tradition, stand by the most vulnerable among us and strive again to meet admission goals. strong refugees. I am pleased that my colleagues have been able to meet today to reaffirm the role of the United States in promoting the safety and well-being of refugees in their country and around the world.

“World Refugee Day gives us the opportunity to recognize the incredible strength and resilience of those fleeing war and persecution,” said Senator Booker. “As we witness the greatest refugee crisis in history, we must shoulder our solemn responsibility to support those who need it most, while ensuring that our nation continues to shine as a beacon of light and hope for people of all faiths and backgrounds.

“The United States must continue to be a leader in human rights, and we must do our part to help refugees and all those fleeing persecution,” said Senator Cantwell.

“World Refugee Day reminds us that America was founded as a refuge from persecution and danger. Welcoming refugees has always been the key to who we are as a nation ”, Senator Blumenthal said. “At a time when victims of persecution – such as political protesters and their families – fear for their lives and safety, the United States has a moral obligation to provide them with safe haven. This resolution reaffirms our commitment to help millions of people around the world facing the dangers of war, famine and corruption. “

“Minnesota has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers”, said Senator Smith. “It’s the morally right thing to do, and it makes our state stronger. They are our neighbors, our families and our friends. And they contribute in many ways that fuel Minnesota’s economic growth, innovation and more. . I am pleased to join this resolution in reaffirming my commitment to the well-being of refugees and displaced persons in search of peace and freedom. “

“As we celebrate World Refugee Day – recognizing the dreams of women, children and men fleeing war, persecution, famine and more, in the hope of living in peace – we must re-engage with them. values ​​and humanity that make America a beacon of hope, ” said Senator Brown. “Now more than ever, our government must step up its efforts as our global community faces an unprecedented refugee crisis amid an ongoing pandemic. With the introduction of this significant resolution, I join my colleagues in encouraging the administration to use all the tools at its disposal to facilitate the protection of the millions of refugees seeking freedom.


“We must all do our part to support the more than 82 million souls around the world who have been uprooted from their lives,” said Senator Whitehouse. “I am happy to join my colleagues in marking World Refugee Day to help raise awareness and reaffirm America’s commitment to protect those fleeing violence, natural disasters or persecution.


The Senators’ resolution was also supported by: African American Ministers In Action, Amnesty International USA, Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture, Bread for the World, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, Center for Victims of Torture, Church World Service, Coalition on Human Needs, Community Refugee & Immigration Services ( CRIS), Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, United States Provinces, Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc., Faith in Public Life Action, First Focus Campaign for Children, Freedom Network USA, HIAS, Hispanic Federation, Human Rights First, International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), Islamic Relief USA, Jesuit Refugee Service / USA, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, National Council of Jewish Women, National Immigration Forum, National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), New American Econ omy, New San ctuary Coalition, Oxfam America, Presidents’ Alliance, Project Blueprint, Refugee Congress, Refugees International, Syrian Community Network, Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, United Stateless, Voice for Refuge Action Fund, We Are All America, Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration, Win Without War, Witness at the Border, Women’s Refugee Commission, World Education Services, World Relief, and WRD South Dakota Committee.

“On World Refugee Day, we honor the resilience of refugees and demonstrate the broad bipartisan support for refugees across the country. Church World Service commends Congress for planning to introduce a resolution that commemorates World Refugee Day and celebrates the contributions of refugees to our nation. Everyone deserves a safe place to live. This resolution signals our nation’s values ​​of compassion, hospitality and welcome. We urge the administration to uphold these values, resettle as many refugees as possible this year, set the 2022 admissions target for fiscal year 125,000, and rebuild the program after years of attacks. After the introduction, we call for the speedy adoption of the resolution as a testament to our heritage as a host nation ”, says Meredith Owen, Policy and Advocacy Director for Church World Service.

“On World Refugee Day, HIAS recognizes the struggles and strength of millions of refugee men, women and children around the world. After more than a year of experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects – lockdowns, border closures, increased dangers and rising anti-immigrant sentiment – we hope 2021 will be the year for refugees and other displaced people will receive the support they need to rebuild their lives in peace and dignity, and we welcome the joint Congress resolution on World Refugee Day. On this World Refugee Day, we honor refugees, applaud their resilience and call on all countries to welcome the stranger ”, said Melanie Nezer, HIAS Senior Vice President, Public Affairs.

Find a copy of the legislation HERE


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