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Press Release

IRC Statement on U.S. House action against refugees and immigrants

The “SAFE Act”, considered today, drastically undermines U.S. humanitarian and moral leadership

As the House Judiciary Committee considers a bill that would undermine U.S. legacy on refugee and asylee protection, The International Rescue Committee (IRC) urges all members of Congress to exhibit moral leadership and resist attempts to demonize the most vulnerable.

Today, representatives will debate the “SAFE Act” that would undermine a long legacy of refugee and immigrant protection. These measures will vastly increase the taxpayer burden, while doing nothing to improve public safety or the wellbeing of our communities.

The IRC maintains that the U.S. must focus on preserving and enhancing the protection safeguards that exist in U.S. immigration law. In just a few months, America’s long legacy as a safe haven for refugees has come under unprecedented attack. The “SAFE Act” further undermines temporary protection of persons fleeing grave dangers following acute natural disasters. It would also pave the way for more widespread deportation of young people who have grown up practically their entire lives in our communities.

Said Hans van de Weerd, Vice President, U.S. Programs –

“The SAFE Act carries a sobering humanitarian cost – putting many lives at significant risk.

“The bill considered would provide even more authority to the Administration to whittle away at existing due process protections for asylum seekers fleeing persecution and violence when they seek safety at our borders. It abandons persons fleeing acute natural disasters, and empowers the administration to deport young people who have grown up in our communities.

“We urge Congress to resist all attempts to demonize asylum seekers and refugees, and focus on preserving and enhancing the protection safeguards that exist in U.S. immigration law".

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 28 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.