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house Bill H.R. 6909

Should the U.S. Admit At Least 110,000 Refugees Per Year?

Argument in favor

The recent decrease in the number of refugees the U.S. admits is inhumane. It’s also contrary to America’s historical willingness to welcome refugees, as it’s taken in an average of 95,000 refugees a year since 1980, and has exceeded that in times of international humanitarian crisis like the present, with over 25 million refugees globally.

Jonathan's Opinion
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10/07/2018
We have an obligation as one of the most powerful nations in the world to help as many people as possible. Not only because of our wealth and power, but because we have achieved much of this wealth and power through less than scrupulous means ( slavery, manifest destiny, laws that discriminate and restrict...)
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Audrey's Opinion
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10/07/2018
Our country was founded through the immigration of peoples who left their homes, pursuing the dream - of freedom. They are movers, workers, people like all of us here. Let us offer others the same opportunities we are blessed with by sharing our land and resources.
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Nathan's Opinion
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10/07/2018
100,000 is a fractional number for a country with our population. Helping others in need is how we became the great nation we are today.
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Argument opposed

It’s expensive to resettle refugees in the U.S., and it makes more sense to help them resettle closer to their home regions. Additionally, given the ongoing threat of terrorism, it’s possible that admitting refugees may pose a security risk that no amount of vetting can diminish.

William's Opinion
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10/07/2018
I do not support this bill. We should not admit immigrants based on a quota. We should admit them based on our need for their skills and their allegiance to our nation. Coming to America is like winning the lottery, there is no better place on earth! We do not need to admit people based on a quota of at least or any maximum.
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Scott's Opinion
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10/07/2018
Citizenship should be based on merit not an arbitrary number.
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Chester 's Opinion
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10/07/2018
Refugees need to have a Revolution in their own country and take over the tyrannical Government.
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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
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedSeptember 26th, 2018

What is House Bill H.R. 6909?

This bill — the Lady Liberty Act of 2018 — would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish a minimum number of refugees who could be admitted to the U.S. in any fiscal year after 2018. It’d require the president to set a goal of admitting no fewer than 110,000 refugees annually.

Impact

Refugees; Immigration and Nationality Act; and the president.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 6909

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) introduced this legislation to reverse the Trump administration’s recent actions to severely limit refugee resettlement in the U.S.:

“The Trump administration is once again slamming the door on refugees. Against a record high global refugee crisis, the Trump administration’s record-low refugee admissions cap is dangerous and un-American. The Lady Liberty Act will reverse this callous backslide and restore America’s leadership role in refugee resettlement. No one chooses to be a refugee. These people are seeking safety and a better life. Congress has a moral responsibility to stand up to the President and let the world know we are still a welcoming and compassionate nation.”

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), which supports this, bill, argues that the current slowdown in refugee resettlement is harmful to the U.S.’ foreign and domestic interests:

“The impacts of reduced refugee resettlement are far-reaching at home and abroad: The U.S. is abandoning the most in-need refugee populations, including religious minorities; those who assisted U.S. troops and missions overseas; families seeking to be unified with their loved ones; and the 50 percent of refugees who are children. Our allies hosting more than their fair share abroad and our local communities across the U.S. are also feeling the consequences. This slowdown is in stark contrast to the resettlement program’s long history of support and success, with over 3 million refugees resettled in the U.S. since 1980. Resettled refugees provide widespread economic bene ts across the country and revitalize local communities experiencing demographic decline. The program is also instrumental to U.S. foreign policy, supporting the success of diplomatic missions and national security objectives overseas.”

The Trump administration’s refugee policy supports efforts to host displaced persons “as close to their home countries as possible.” In comments to the U.N. General Assembly last September, President Trump called this “the safe, responsible and humanitarian approach,” and argued that it’s also more cost-effective, claiming that “for the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region.”

The Center for Immigration Studies, which produced the cost estimates President Trump cited in his comments to the U.N., made the case that resettling Middle Eastern refugees in the U.S. is significantly more expensive than other solutions:

“The U.S. government publishes some information on welfare use and money spent to resettle refugees in the United States. Based on that information, this analysis finds that the costs of resettling refugees in the United States are quite high, even without considering all of the costs refugees create. We conservatively estimate that the costs total $64,370 in the first five years for each Middle Eastern refugee. This is 61 times what it costs to care for one Syrian refugee in a neighboring country for a single year or about 12 times the cost of providing for a refugee for five years. It must be kept in mind that refugees are admitted for humanitarian reasons, so the high cost of refugee resettlement is to be expected. But funds are limited and UNHCR is chronically short of money to help the millions of refugees in the world, including those in the Middle East. There are always competing demands on government resources. And while the public may feel a strong sense of sympathy for those in dire circumstances, their willingness to help has limits. If policymakers want to make optimal use of American resources to help those fleeing war, they should consider alternatives to resettling refugees in this country.”

The Trump administration has also suggested that refugees may pose a security risk. However, refugee advocates point out that no refugees were involved in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and no refugees have been responsible for terrorism-related deaths in the U.S. after 9/11.

This bill has the support of 62 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats. It has the endorsements of the Family Action Network Movement, (FANM), Human Rights First, International Rescue Committee (IRC), United States Committee for Refugees and immigrants (USCRI), and others.


Of NoteThe Trump administration recently set a cap of 30,000 for refugees admitted to the U.S. in fiscal year 2019 — a decrease of 15,000 from 45,000 in 2018. These numbers are a reversal of historic U.S. policy. Since 1980, the US. has resettled over 3 million refugees, setting an average annual goal of 95,000 refugee admissions. The previous low ceiling for refugee resettlement in the U.S. was 67,000, set by President Ronald Reagan in 1986

A 110,000 annual target is well within precedent. President Reagan twice set a ceiling of over 200,000 to address humanitarian crises, and President Obama set a refugee admissions target of 110,000 for 2017.

Traditionally, the America’s refugee admissions ceiling has been set with global humanitarian need in mind, with the U.S. resettling about 0.6% of the globe’s total refugee population each year.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Michal Fiałkowski)

AKA

Lady Liberty Act of 2018

Official Title

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for a minimum number of refugees who may be admitted in any fiscal year after fiscal year 2018, and for other purposes.

    We have an obligation as one of the most powerful nations in the world to help as many people as possible. Not only because of our wealth and power, but because we have achieved much of this wealth and power through less than scrupulous means ( slavery, manifest destiny, laws that discriminate and restrict...)
    Like (214)
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    No
    Like (153)
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    Our country was founded through the immigration of peoples who left their homes, pursuing the dream - of freedom. They are movers, workers, people like all of us here. Let us offer others the same opportunities we are blessed with by sharing our land and resources.
    Like (127)
    Follow
    Share
    I do not support this bill. We should not admit immigrants based on a quota. We should admit them based on our need for their skills and their allegiance to our nation. Coming to America is like winning the lottery, there is no better place on earth! We do not need to admit people based on a quota of at least or any maximum.
    Like (93)
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    100,000 is a fractional number for a country with our population. Helping others in need is how we became the great nation we are today.
    Like (69)
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    As long as we're not using tax money to bring them over here and take care of them, why should there even be a limit? Maybe if we stopped involving ourselves in practically every conflict around the world, there might not be so many refugees to begin with.
    Like (47)
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    Citizenship should be based on merit not an arbitrary number.
    Like (38)
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    #AmericaFirst 💯🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
    Like (37)
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    We have always allowed, not just allowed...encouraged immigration. I hate this ‘whites only’ club-America that this administration would have us be. I’m sick ashamed and infuriated at the “Handling” of my America. You non-Euro Whites, You Gay, You Women...you are not part of Trumps vision. You are to be summarily quieted...but only after being used. Wake the fuck up.
    Like (34)
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    No.
    Like (29)
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    Refugees need to have a Revolution in their own country and take over the tyrannical Government.
    Like (20)
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    We start the wars, we should take in the victims. But under this administration I’m terrified that these people will end up in concentration camps. Can we please go with my idea of reclaiming abandoned malls, turning them in to cities and ripping up parking lot to make into farmland? We’ll have plenty of room for our homeless, migrants, and refugees. We’ll just vet the migrants to see if we can give them refugee status. A lot qualify as they are escaping the gangs perpetuated by the drug war that we started and our CIA made worse.
    Like (17)
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    Yet another bill from a disgruntled Democrat designed specifically to insult the current President. Just another variation on open borders really.
    Like (16)
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    Let in only those that meet our requirements and vetted carefully. If that’s 1 or 100,000. There should not be any minimums. We don’t want to let in people just to meet a number.
    Like (15)
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    If the Indians would have limited numbers over 200 years ago and people born in the USA would not be naturalized citizen, there be haft as many people here to day. Maybe they can make retro active. Trump would not be president and neither would the senators or congressman be in office. So immigration problem was caused by the Indians!
    Like (14)
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    If we truly regard ourselves as reflective of Christian values, then we need to put it to actiin. Else, this administration should shut up with being church-friendly and pious and all that. People of good will help those in need...not just those in need whom we deem most favorable to our needs.
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    We should welcome as many refugees as possible. The USA should become a haven of hospitality!
    Like (13)
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    Unless they can support themselves and speak English and have marketable skills.
    Like (12)
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    No, absolutely not. Anyone coming to the United States either needs to seek asylum or go through the proper channels to enter the country and to be here legally. Individuals coming here must be rigidly vetted to be able to be here. This must be done to keep our country safe. Anyone coming to the country should not expect to have any privileges or to have their way paid by our government and must be responsible for themselves in full unless otherwise indicated if there are special circumstances.
    Like (12)
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    Our nation is based on accepting the huddled masses. It is part of our identity. Trump's grandfather, mother and several wives were/are immigrants, so to pretend otherwise is disingenuous.
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