Thirty years ago, Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980, a landmark bill that affirmed the United States' commitment to providing refuge to victims of religious, political, ethnic and other forms of persecution.
In recent years, however, a barrage of new laws and policies, have eroded the institution of asylum in the United States, undermining the commitments the United States espoused when passing the Refugee Act and, consequently, leading the United States to deny asylum or other protection to victims of persecution.
Refugees seeking asylum now face prolonged detention in prison-like conditions without due process safeguards, such as a custody review by an immigration court, denials of their requests for asylum based on an arbitrary filing deadline, and overly broad exclusion provisions, including those that define victims of terrorism as "terrorists."
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Carl Levin (D-MI) introduced the Refugee Protection Act of 2010 (S.3113), a bill that corrects many of the most egregious policies towards refugees and re-establishes the United States' commitment to protecting the persecuted. The bill needs cosponsors.
Contact your senators today. Tell them to stand up for refugees, and ask them to support this much-needed bill that would help those fleeing persecution and seeking safe haven in the United States.