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Category: politics

Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Vice Chairman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) have introduced the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act (H.R. 4731).

The bill reforms the refugee program by curbing fraud and strengthening public safety and national security. It also provides state and local governments the power to decide if refugees are to be resettled within their communities and gives Congress, not the President, the authority to set the overall refugee ceiling for each year. The House Judiciary Committee marked up the legislation on Wednesday, March 16.

Below are statements from the authors of the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act on the introduction of the bill.

Congressman Labrador: “Our bill makes common-sense reforms to improve and modernize the refugee program. It restores congressional power and respects the decisions of elected officials closest to the people. Importantly, the bill gives Congress, rather than the President, authority to decide how many refugees to admit. It boosts protections against fraud and requires rejection of those guilty of serious crimes.

“The bill improves prospects for success by placing refugees in communities that have the infrastructure to support them and by giving priority to persecuted religious minorities. To continue America’s long history of welcoming those in need, we must restore confidence in the safeguards protecting our security. I thank Chairman Goodlatte for his good counsel and partnership in developing and advancing real solutions to this complex issue.”

Chairman Goodlatte: “The United States has a generous refugee program that has provided millions of people fleeing persecution with a safe home. However, all too often we hear about fraud in the refugee program and bad actors seeking to exploit our kindness. Additionally, the American people have little say in the process since the President has the sole power to determine how many refugees come each year and where they are to be resettled in the United States.

“The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act makes meaningful reforms to the refugee program to curb fraud, strengthen national security and public safety, and restore integrity to the program. The bill sets the annual refugee resettlement ceiling so that the People’s duly elected representatives in Congress, not the President, decide what that number should be. It also empowers state and local governments to decide whether or not refugee resettlement is best for their communities. I thank Representative Labrador for his work on this bill and look forward to moving it through the House Judiciary Committee soon.”

Original cosponsors of the bill are Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Representatives Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.).

Key Components of the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act:

Places the refugee ceiling in Congress’ hands—not the President’s:

Empowers state and local communities:

Enhances integrity of refugee program and curbs fraud:

Strengthens public safety and national security: