Written by: Emily Portalatin Munoz
I have gone in some depths when talking about the refugee Protection act of 2019. I have written a blog with quick facts and mentioned in my Asylum: What are our options? post. This bill was made in response to the Trumps approach to the immigration system. Its not surprise that the Trump administration is very fond of the idea of just closing the border off completely. This bill was meant to combat the administrations agenda by passing actual law and legislation (something the president cant and should not do). As the sponsor of the bill Senator Patrick Leahy states “As the world faces the worst refugee crisis in recorded history, the United States should be embracing our role as the humanitarian leader of the world – not retreating from it, as the Trump administration has shamefully done.” So lets get into the merits of this bill and talk about why we should implement it into legislation.
The legislation is broken down into four titles. The four titles are titled as follows admissions and protection of refugees, asylum seeker and other vulnerable individuals, refugee and asylum seeker processing in western hemisphere, special immigrant visa programs and general provisions. Lets break them down.
This section has six subsections. The first subsection is about defining refugees, eliminating time limits on asylum claims and requiring transparency in refugee determinations. This the very foundation of the bill and takes a on the bigger problems that are being caused by the current immigration system. This section is eliminating a lot of the “fine print” associated with trying to seek asylum through the court system. It will also allow for the system to be more transparent.
This section focuses on expanding refugee and asylum seeker processing, increasing regional humanitarian responses, and have means of identification, screening and processing of refugees. This section does this by implementing structures for various programs. Such as the Central American refugee program and the central American minors program. This provides specific instruction to the immigration officials. This section can easily be turned in the new policy with immigration officials with the support of the new programs instigated.
This section is about special immigrant visa programs. These programs include a direct access program for U.S. affiliated Iraqis. Another elements is requiring a reporting system when it comes to these special visas. This title also requires improvements made om the plication process for afghan special immigrant visas. These are just a few example of the inclusion of the bill, including access to visas that have worked hard for such example. People that have worked for or have helped the united states in dangerous situations it only seems fair that they are granted visas to flee any danger they put themselves into for the sake of this country.
This section is just the general provisions as on most bills. It also mentions the budgetary effects but nothing that speaks to merits it short and sweet.
If you want to read the bill in its entirety you can here.