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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
World Refugee Day June 18, 2015
Patrick Leahy, D-VT
"I am proud of Vermont’s long history of supporting refugees by opening its communities, schools, and homes to those in need. It is not always easy, but it is a powerful example of our belief in the most basic ideals of human dignity and hope, and our commitment to responding to the suffering of others. We are fortunate to have remarkable organizations like the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program leading the effort with its decades of experience and award-winning volunteer program, and the tremendous legal advocacy provided by the Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates. The hard work of these and other organizations and the daily welcoming gestures of Vermonters all over the State have made Vermont a role model for the rest of the country."
Tribute To Federal Employee February 12, 2015
Thomas Carper, D-DE
"Faced with this human crisis, Customs and Border Protection agents sprang to action. Among their leaders was our agent here today whom I especially want to put a spotlight on: Ramiro Garza. With the help of his colleagues, Ram went above and beyond to process the arrivals, according to the law, while also responding to the human needs of these people. Agent Garza helped create an emergency operations center to manage the crisis and worked to transfer unaccompanied children to the Office of Refugee Resettlement."
Department Of Homeland Security Appropriations Act Of 2015 January 14, 2015
Marsha Blackburn, R-TN
"Let me ask you a question, let me ask my colleagues a question: Is it radical to support the rule of law? Is it radical to fight for American workers who are going to lose their jobs to illegal aliens? Is it radical to prioritize legal immigrants that are coming to this country? Is it radical to try to protect children that are in this program via the Office of Refugee Resettlement?"
Waiving Requirement Of Clause 6(A) Of Rule Xiii With Respect To Consideration Of Certain Resolutions Reported From The Committee On Rules, And Providing For Consideration Of Motions To Suspend The… August 1, 2014
Zoe Lofgren, D-CA
"Dear Member of Congress, In a matter of months, more than 50,000 unaccompanied children have arrived in the United States. Millions of Americans have been moved by the plight of these children who are currently awaiting processing, with many asking how they can help. Children are vulnerable even in the best of circumstances and warrant special protection beyond that offered to adults. This vulnerability is compounded among children who flee situations of criminal gangs, sexual violence, trauma and extreme poverty, without their parents to accompany them. Evangelicals are guided by Jesus’ admonitions to welcome and protect children (Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:37, Luke 18:15- 17). As our nation responds to this humanitarian crisis, we are thankful for laws that protect children and provide for their needs. While our systems are currently stretched, our laws uphold basic child protection principles. Accordingly, we are concerned about potential weakening of protections afforded by the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) which was enacted in 2008 and reauthorized in 2013. The TVPRA ensures that victims of trafficking are not only identified and screened properly but that traffickers are penalized and brought to justice. It also appropriately assigns responsibility for the care of unaccompanied children to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and ensures that children are placed with their families when possible. By making the legal process clearer and more efficient for children, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops found that since the passage and implementation of TVPRA 23% more children were assisted. The TVPRA is working according to its design. It should not be changed to address the current temporary situation. The law allows for responses to exceptional circumstances. Additionally, we urge you to provide the necessary resources and policy guidance to address the current crisis, and then hold the Administration accountable for fulfilling its responsibilities under the law. Robust funding is needed for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in HHS which has extensive experience with vulnerable immigrants, including UACs, refugees, and victims of trafficking. To respond to this crisis, ORR is considering reprogramming funding from other refugee programs. Funds must not simply be transferred from one vulnerable population to another. More funding is needed. There should also be increased funding for immigration courts and judges to more quickly screen the children and counsel for children going through legal proceedings so they know their rights and can understand the process. More robust investment in effectively addressing root causes of migration in Central America and Mexico is also imperative. As we pray for these children and also our nation, we are reminded of Matthew 19:13-14 in which Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them.’ Churches and faith-based organizations have long partnered with the federal government in serving immigrant children and families in the United States. Many churches and faith-based organizations are ready and committed to provide the same type of assistance and pastoral care in the case of these unaccompanied children. We offer our prayers and service as you make important decisions about our nation’s response to migrant children. We hope that any response you make will strengthen our country’s tradition of providing safety and refuge to the vulnerable. Sincerely, Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals; Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief; David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World; Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association; Russell D. Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; William Robinson, Interim President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Richard Stearns, President, World Vision U.S.; Jim Wallis, President and Founder, Sojourners."
Bring Jobs Home Act—Motion To Proceed July 24, 2014
David Vitter, R-LA
"No. 3, those UACs who do not voluntarily depart will be immediately placed in a streamlined removal process and detained by the Department of Homeland Security. Currently, they are transferred instead to Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, where they are basically resettled."

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