Connolly Reintroduces the Lady Liberty Act
Today, Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and former Executive Director of the US Committee for Refugees, reintroduced the Lady Liberty Act to require the President to set a goal of admitting no less than 125,000 refugees annually. Connolly was joined by more than 50 members of Congress.
“No one chooses to be a refugee, said Connolly. “In the face of a growing humanitarian crisis, America must reclaim its status as a safe haven for the downtrodden and once again open its door to refugees. This legislation will reverse the Trump Administration’s callous backslide and restore America’s leadership role in refugee resettlement.”
Nearly 79.5 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced by conflict and persecution at the end of 2019, the highest level of displacement ever recorded. Since 1980, the U.S. has resettled more than 3 million refugees and set an average annual goal of 95,000 refugee admissions. Yet the Trump Administration slashed the annual refugee ceiling to a historic low of 15,000 in FY 2021, admitting only 11,814 refugees in FY 2020 and just under 1,000 refugees in the first quarter of FY 2021. In addition to establishing a refugee floor, the Lady Liberty Act would create an automatic trigger for such a goal should the President fail to act in accordance with the law.
“Thankfully, President Biden sees America as the welcoming and compassionate nation it is,” Connolly added. “I look forward to partnering with his Administration to establish safeguards against any future attempts to undermine America’s commitment to the protection of refugees.”
The legislation is endorsed by The Alliance, CASA, The Center for Victims of Torture, Church World Service (CWS), Ethiopian Community Development Council, Family Action Network Movement (FANM), HIAS, Human Rights First, International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, Oxfam America, Refugee Council USA, United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), Veterans for American Ideals, and We Are All Americans.
Text of the legislation is available here.