Senators Leahy and Sessions scuffle over refugee program expansion bill

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has an interesting piece in its legislative updates for the week about the hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Leahy’s bill (we mentioned it here)  that would, among other things, make it easier for asylum seekers to enter the US.

Here is what FAIR says:

During last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Ranking Member Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) clashed with Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Ver.) regarding his refugee bill. Entitled the “Refugee Protection Act of 2010” (S. 3113), Leahy’s bill seeks to amend the current process that aliens must follow in order to receive asylum or refugee status.

Despite the fact that the U.S. currently admits more refugees annually than all other nations combined, Leahy opened the hearing by charging that U.S. law does not do enough to welcome refugees. Leahy argued his bill was necessary to “restore our Nation as a beacon of hope for those who suffer from persecution around the world.” (Hearing, May 19, 2010; See also Leahy’s Written Statement, May 19, 2010). In contrast, Sessions said in his opening statement that he was “proud to live in a nation that is so welcoming of those who are facing persecution” and that “we need to be diligent in our analysis of any proposal that seeks to change the law by which people are admitted into the United States.” (Hearing, May 19, 2010).

Sessions then identified several provisions of Leahy’s bill that he deemed to be “problematic.” These included:

Go to FAIR and read the rest.  It is very good.   I was especially interested in the testimony of a former refugee who was alarmed by the lax protection from terrorism the bill affords.

Completely off topic: For a laugh watch this campaign ad for an opponent of Leahy’s in Vermont.

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