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house Bill H.R. 2798

Does The U.S. Need to Expand its Programs to Help Refugees?

Argument in favor

This country has deep pockets and humanitarian obligations. The U.S. has the resources to help refugees and asylum seekers, and we should put them to use.

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09/15/2015
"People are leaving Iraq, they're leaving Syria, with just the clothes on their backs... The world has got to respond. The United States should be part of the response." [cnn.com]
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BarackObama's Opinion
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09/15/2015
"Those of you that saw some of those heartbreaking images of that small boy drowned, I think anybody who's a parent understands that that stirs all of our consciences." [cnn.com]
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Dawi's Opinion
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09/14/2015
In the midst of an international refugee crisis, and since the U.S. like many first world countries is associated with freedom, justice, equality, new regulations to strengthen and expand the Refugee Resettlement Act need to be established to aid people coming in from developing regions worldwide, while sustaining the safety and wellbeing, the interests of actual citizens. These modifications, like making supplemental security income available to victims of crime and trafficking of persons, are imperative in increasing the preparedness of the department of homeland security and other federal agencies, and the control of flow of refugees and asylum seekers. -DHQ
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Argument opposed

U.S. charity can only go so far. While refugees and asylum seekers are in dire straits, Congress can't expect taxpayers to foot the bill for everyone's problems.

DonaldTrump's Opinion
···
09/15/2015
"We cannot help everybody through the world. Europe should help. Russian should help. China, they're not doing anything. The Gulf states are doing nothing. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, any of the gulf states, they're doing nothing. They should all help. And then maybe we could do something." [cnn.com]
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Steve's Opinion
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09/14/2015
For one thing; Who gets to pay for this? For another, I can't help but ask myself; Why aren't all these young male refugees (which I keep seeing in the news) fighting for their homeland?
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ScottWalker's Opinion
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09/15/2015
“We shouldn’t be taking in any more Syrian refugees right now. The real problem here is the Obama Admin’s failure to deal with #ISIS." Read more at http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/scott-walker-no-more-syrian-refugees-us
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Trade
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJune 17th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 2798?

This bill aims to spend more resources on helping refugees settle into the U.S. after fleeing war, persecution, or natural disasters. Its general goals are to increase coordination between federal agencies, review the refugee processing system, and find ways to speed it up, while maintaining national security.

The Dept. of State would create work and English language training programs overseas for refugees who have been approved to enter the United States. Refugees and asylum seekers would be admitted into the U.S. as legal permanent residents.

Reception and placement grants — funds that go to helping refugees in their first 30-90 days in the U.S. — are set by the Dept. of State. This bill would require that grant amounts be adjusted for more refugee resettlement needs, and that the Dept. of State makes sure funding is available at the beginning of the fiscal year.

A case management system would be created to help refugees access services. Grants for this system would be given to national resettlement agencies by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Services could be provided by the Office itself, through federal/state/local agencies, and/or private or nonprofit organizations. 

Grants could also go to community-based groups, nonprofits, and resettlement agencies that help new refugees integrate into U.S. civic life. The Office would be required to provide refugees with a minimum of 12 months’ assistance and social services for employment, health, and living expenses.

A Domestic Emergency Refugee Resettlement Fund would be created to pay for unexpected refugee resettlement needs. The refugee matching grant program that gives federal-private refugee assistance would be expanded, and eligibility criteria would be loosened.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits would be offered to qualified refugees — including those who were the victims of trafficking or criminal activity and became ineligible for benefits because they didn't apply for citizenship within seven years. Children who have been granted special immigrant status because they were the victim of criminal activity would be eligible for specific refugee benefits.

Impact

Refugees and asylum seekers, their families, private and nonprofit entities that assist refugees and asylees, and relevant agencies at the federal, state, and local level that field requests from potential refugees and asylees.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2798

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) believes that:

“America’s refugee program should reflect our values of generosity and inclusion for all Americans — new and old. The Strengthening Refugee Resettlement Act achieves this by making sure refugee families have the resources they need to find stability in their new homes as quickly as possible. Strengthening support not only helps the refugees who have come to Minnesota, but also benefits the nearly 70,000 who’ve arrived in the United States since last year.”

The Center for Victims of Torture and the Episcopal Church both released statements supporting this legislation.


Of Note: In the midst of the refugee crisis affecting the Middle East and Europe, the Obama administration announced plans to accept another 10,000 refugees from Syria over the next year starting in 2015. The U.S. was only prepared to accept 2,000 Syrian refugees, and overall quotas top out at 70,000 refugees per year. This plan has drawn criticism after the U.S. accepted more than 80,000 Somali refugees between 1983 and 2004, some of whom joined radical Islamic terror groups.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Mustafa Khayat)

AKA

Strengthening Refugee Resettlement Act

Official Title

To modify provisions of law relating to refugee resettlement, and for other purposes.

    "People are leaving Iraq, they're leaving Syria, with just the clothes on their backs... The world has got to respond. The United States should be part of the response." [cnn.com]
    Like (562)
    Follow
    Share
    "We cannot help everybody through the world. Europe should help. Russian should help. China, they're not doing anything. The Gulf states are doing nothing. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, any of the gulf states, they're doing nothing. They should all help. And then maybe we could do something." [cnn.com]
    Like (340)
    Follow
    Share
    "Those of you that saw some of those heartbreaking images of that small boy drowned, I think anybody who's a parent understands that that stirs all of our consciences." [cnn.com]
    Like (256)
    Follow
    Share
    For one thing; Who gets to pay for this? For another, I can't help but ask myself; Why aren't all these young male refugees (which I keep seeing in the news) fighting for their homeland?
    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
    In the midst of an international refugee crisis, and since the U.S. like many first world countries is associated with freedom, justice, equality, new regulations to strengthen and expand the Refugee Resettlement Act need to be established to aid people coming in from developing regions worldwide, while sustaining the safety and wellbeing, the interests of actual citizens. These modifications, like making supplemental security income available to victims of crime and trafficking of persons, are imperative in increasing the preparedness of the department of homeland security and other federal agencies, and the control of flow of refugees and asylum seekers. -DHQ
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    “We shouldn’t be taking in any more Syrian refugees right now. The real problem here is the Obama Admin’s failure to deal with #ISIS." Read more at http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/scott-walker-no-more-syrian-refugees-us
    Like (23)
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    There needs to be a lot better planning before we assimilate more refugees into our country. We are not the country from which they came. We have Western values that are often in direct conflict with the values they will be bringing with them. We need to set expectations and limits as to what we will and will not do since most of the differences between "them" and "us" are due to their religion (read that Islam). They need to know that Shariah is not recognized here, that we respect but will not accommodate their religious beliefs and in that sense we are not treating them any differently than other refugees. Further, we will expect them to assimilate into our culture; we will not change to accommodate theirs. They should learn our language (i.e., English) and show respect to everyone.
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    We can't take care of our own and were in debt for trillions of dollars
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    Tell me this: Are you okay with the danger that the importation of thousands of Muslim "refugees" poses for our country? Are you comfortable with letting them pick us off one by one or just a few at a time? Do you think it is no big deal if these "refugees" come here, collect hundreds or thousands of taxpayers' dollars in the form of welfare assistance, then collect and send much of that money to their terrorist friends in the Middle East and Africa? I've read some of the comments posted by the liberal members of the Countable community, and they talk about these "poor people fleeing their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs." They scoff at "Republican Christians" and call us xenophobes and Islamophobes. They would have us believe that the "refugees" are properly and thoroughly vetted, but that is just a big lie perpetuated by the Obama Administration. It is liberal, socialist propaganda spouted by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Muslim sympathizers, people who are neither ignorant nor blind to the facts about Islam and its goal of world domination through conquest and/or conversion. Read the article below. It seems like every week I come across one or more similar stories of Muslim "refugees" and/or American converts who are either supporting terrorist organizations overseas, or who are plotting to commit acts of terrorism here against American citizens! I'm not hard-hearted. I feel immense sorrow for people who are being persecuted, especially if they are not Christians. “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “ and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” ‭(‭Ezekiel‬ ‭18:23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬) “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (‭‭II Peter‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬) I'm all for helping those who are being tortured and murdered because they refuse to convert to Islam. But as for Muslim "refugees," let the Muslim countries take care of them, if they can ever stop their barbaric civil wars between different sects of Islam! The alternative is to let them come here and turn America into another Islamic hell hole, with their anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-freedom, pro-Shariah rape gangs, no-go zones, honor killings, female mutilation, and legal, cultural and economic jihad. When that happens, it will do no good for the bleeding heart liberals to say, "Oops!" And you can be sure that they will - just look at Germany's Merkel! She finally had to admit that she made a HUGE mistake in opening Germany up to all of those so-called "refugees"! Actually, most of Europe is seeing the error of such misplaced generosity! DON'T LET OBAMA AND OTHERS LIKE HIM DO THAT TO AMERICA! NOT IF YOU VALUE FREEDOM AND WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO GROW UP IN SAFE AND PEACEFUL NEIGHBORHOODS! WE NEED TO STOP THE ISLAMIZATION OF AMERICA AND SECURE OUR BORDERS WHILE WE STILL CAN! WHILE WE STILL HAVE A COUNTRY WE CAN CALL OUR OWN! It's not that I hate the Muslim people! I don't! It's their religion that I have a big problem with! I don't see CHRISTIANS beheading nonbelievers or setting them on fire in cages. I don't see CHRISTIANS throwing homosexuals off the tops of buildings! True CHRISTIANS live peacefully, side by side, with members of other religions here in the United States! “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬) ************************************************** Two Women Found Guilty of Providing Material Support to Terrorists ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two women were convicted today of terrorism crimes related to their material support of al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization. Muna Osman Jama, 36, of Reston, and Hinda Osman Dhirane, 46, of Kent, Washington, were found guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization after a bench trial in front of U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga. “Providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations is a very serious crime,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “These women funneled money to a terrorist organization which was conducting a violent insurgency campaign in Somalia. National security is the top priority in this office and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who provide material support to terrorists.” “In addition to money they transferred in direct support of al-Shabaab, these subjects recruited, solicited, and advised an online group located in multiple countries as to how and where to transfer funds to this terrorist organization,” said Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “In coordination of the group, these subjects would then track and facilitate donations to ensure the money was received by their co-conspirators located in Nairobi and Somaliland. Today's guilty verdicts send a message that facilitation of financial support to a designated terrorist organization equates to terrorist activity itself.” According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Jama and Dhirane sent money to financiers of al-Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya, which they referred to respectively as the “Hargeisa side” and the “Nairobi side.” The defendants also organized what was called a “Group of Fifteen,” which included women from Somalia, Kenya, Egypt, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as well as Minneapolis, Minnesota. The “Group of Fifteen” met regularly in a private chatroom that Jama established to organize and track monthly payment of money to the “Hargeisa side,” which was used to finance al-Shabaab military operations in the Golis Mountains in northern Somalia, and the “Nairobi side,” which was used to fund two al-Shabaab safehouses. One of the safehouses was used by al-Shabaab to store weapons and to prepare for attacks. The other was used to treat al-Shabaab fighters who had been wounded in battle. A substantial part of the government’s case consisted of recorded telephone calls and other communications among the “Group of Fifteen.” These recordings demonstrated that the women had close connections with al-Shabaab leadership and were privy to non-public, inside information concerning al-Shabaab activities. Jama and Dhirane were recorded as they laughed as the carnage at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi was still taking place. Dhirane and co-conspirator were also recorded as they laughed at the Boston Marathon Bombing before it became known who committed the attack. Jama and Dhirane each face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison when sentenced on January 19, 2017. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Jay S. Tabb, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office, made the announcement after the verdict was announced. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James P. Gillis and Danya E. Atiyeh are prosecuting the case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota also provided assistance with the case. This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington, D.C. and Seattle Field Offices. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs also played an essential role in coordinating the arrests and searches with foreign authorities. A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:14-cr-230. https://www.justice.gov/usao/vae http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/ https://pcl.uscourts.gov/ https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/two-women-found-guilty-providing-material-support-terrorists
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    Not when there are already American citizens that are left without homes.. What about them?
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    America is broke. We can't afford any more debt. We need to drastically cut spending not increase it.
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    Close our borders and take care of our own first!
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    We are at an important place in history where Americans are being left behind to protect foreigners No more money should leave this country until AMERICA is healthy again. Our vets deserve better. I own nothing to any country or person. Our money belongs to the American people and only they should get it
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    I think that since we're touted as the world's largest economy, we should put our large economy to good use to help those in desperate need (no matter what they're fleeing from). "With great power comes great responsibility." Yeah, I just quoted Spider-Man
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    Given the current climate in the world with ISIS infiltration in the refugee population I don't think the prudent option is to expand this effort. Especially when you look around and see the internal suffering in our communities.
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    We have been taking care of other nations for well over 70 years, its long past time to start taking care of the United States first. Our nation is in perilous times, from national security, infrastructure. We have to rebuild ourselves, then we can look at helping other nations.
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    Really???? The so called deep pockets now have lint balls in them. We are in debt up to our ears and are in no shape what so ever to bring in so called refugees. Our welfare system is crumbling and bringing in these refugees will only compound the problems.
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    Individuals need to help individuals. Families need to be encouraged and supported to help and care for refugees.
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    Cause they mean us harm.....it is about Islam
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    If you want to help the refugees, donate to a charity that helps refugees. Don't take my money and give it to them.
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