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house Bill H.R. 1365

Comprehensive Refugee and Asylee Reform (House Bill)

Argument in favor

No new legislation related to this issue for nearly a decade. Current policies are outdated and, to some, verge on draconian.

Argument opposed

Any change to existing policy creates new security issues and additional expenses. This bill's been around for four years with no Senate vote.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Budget
      Social Security
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMarch 21st, 2013

What is House Bill H.R. 1365?

The bill would make a number of critical changes to laws that deal with refugees and persons seeking asylum in the United States. Those details may be found below. Both refugees and asylum seekers must demonstrates that 1) they can no longer live in their home country due to a reasonable fear or proof they will be persecuted, and 2 the reason for their persecution is related to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion. Asylum, however, can only be granted to a refugee once that refugee is in the United States. 


The bill impacts refugees seeking asylum in the United States. According to the Office of Immigration Statistics, 58,179 refugees were admitted to the U.S. in 2012, with 29,484 being granted asylum.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1365

A CBO cost is currently unavailable.

More Information


Inter Press Service

In Detail: 

Among its many provisions, the bill: 

-would repeal the current, one-year time limit for filing an asylum claim while at the same time establishing a protocol for reopening claims that were denied because they weren't filed within a year;

-exempts children from "reinstatement of removal," a process that allows immigration judges to order the removal of anyone who has illegally reentered the United States after having been previously ordered removed;

-permits minors in the care of a refugee approved for resettlement to the United States to be resettled with that refugee, if it is found to be in the best interest of the child;

-authorizes (but does not mandate)  the Attorney General to appoint counsel to represent an alien in a removal proceeding;

-permits asylum officers to grant actually grant asylum, as opposed to referring asylum-seekers to immigration courts;

grants conditional lawful status for "stateless persons," those individuals who lost nationality when their country ceased to exist or have had their nationality taken from them discriminatorily for reasons attached to gender, religious affiliation, or ethnicity;

-offers refugees denied resettlement access to both legal representation and a more detailed, written explanation of why their application for admittance to the U.S. was denied;

-authorizes the President to designate refugee groups;

-authorizes the spouse or child of a refugee or asylee to bring his or her accompanying or following child into the United States as a refugee or asylee;

-directs the Secretary of State to notify Congress regarding the amount of funds that will be provided in Reception and Placement Grants in the coming fiscal year;

-extends eligibility for supplemental security income (SSI) assistance to certain aliens (including asylees and refugees) and trafficking victims;

-makes a number of changes to detention for arriving asylum seekers, including making dentition discretionary, as opposed to mandatory, establishing alternatives to detention that would minimizes dentition times, improve detention conditions, and giving needed information to asylum seekers within 48 hours of their arrival; 

-authorizes the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom to conduct a study to determine whether certain immigration officers are properly handling asylum and removal/detention authority with regard to aliens apprehended after entering the United States.

-gives refugee-status translators working for the U.S. in Iraq  and Afghanistan credit for being in the United States while being employed as translators; 

-permits applicants for refugee admission to simultaneously pursue other forms of admission.

-states that if the President does not set the number of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. before the beginning of a fiscal year, the number of refugees that may be admitted in each quarter shall be 25% of the number of refugees admissible during the previous fiscal year, and;

-directs the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Refugee and Asylee Resettlement (HHS) to: (1) report to Congress regarding states experiencing departures and arrivals due to secondary migration; and (2) expand the Office's data analysis, collection, and sharing activities to include data on mental and physical medical cases, housing needs, and refugee employment.


Refugee Protection Act of 2013

Official Title

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to reaffirm the United States historic commitment to protecting refugees who are fleeing persecution or torture.

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