Strengthening Refugee Resettlement Act introduced by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.
Posted by Christopher Coen on September 25, 2012
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., has introduced legislation to alter certain aspects of the US refugee resettlement program. The “Strengthening Refugee Resettlement Act” would get refugees started on learning English and workforce skills while they are still overseas, and would apparently streamline processing for medical and security clearances. Refugees would also be admitted to the United States as lawful permanent residents, instead of requiring the current one year wait. The bill also would supposedly expand federal coverage for a range of programs in employment, housing and health care for refugees. Rep. Keith Ellison’s website does not show any of the text of the bill. An editorial in the Star Tribune trumpets the bill:
Tens of thousands of refugee immigrants come to America every year. And in many cases local communities where they settle struggle to meet their needs because of limited resources.
That’s why recently proposed federal legislation deserves support. Introduced last week by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the “Strengthening Refugee Resettlement Act” would reform both the pre- and post-arrival processing of refugees. It would get immigrants started on learning English and workforce skills while they are still overseas and would begin medical and security clearances.
Such immigrants would be admitted to the United States as lawful permanent residents, saving government resources.
The bill also would expand federal help to support a range of programs in employment, housing and health care available to immigrants once they arrive. That would make more funds available to states like Minnesota — with one of the largest per capita populations of refugees in the nation. Between 1999 and 2007 over 34,000 refugees were resettled in Minnesota…
Such advance preparation can connect refugee immigrants to the services they need and integrate them into their new communities more quickly. The faster they learn English and find jobs and housing, the sooner they can do without government assistance… Read more here