Where are legally required hearings in House and Senate on Obama refugee plan for FY2017?
Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 8, 2016
President Barack Hussein Obama will send his final ‘determination’ letter to Capitol Hill this month with the number of refugees (200,000?) he wants admitted to the country in Fiscal Year 2017 which begins in 23 days! I’m guessing the letter and the required report won’t be delivered until his big show at the UN on September 20th.
That gives little time for Congress to do the job legally required of it under the Refugee Act of 1980 and that is to hold hearings in both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. However since both committees know what is required of them, they could have the hearings on their respective committee calendars for the week immediately following the 20th. I am not seeing anything on either of their calendars.
I won’t stop beating this drum! The number of refugees admitted to the US this coming year will depend on the REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS (not on Obama!).
They can cut the funding for the program and thus cut the number of refugees placed in your towns! If they want to!
Last year was the first year in many, many years where the House Judiciary Committee and Senate Judiciary Committees held any legally required hearing on the President’s plan and that is only because so many of you were clamoring for hearings in light of the huge Syrian numbers being proposed (you know the number will be even bigger this year, Hillary wants 65,000!).
Because they want to get home and campaign this fall, they will have adjourned and there will be no hearings in October, therefore we must demand a hearing in both committees this month!
This is what I said last year on September 13th, click here.
Here is what the law says. I doubt most of this ever happens!
“SEC. 207. (a)(1) Except as provided in subsection Q)), the number of
refugees who may be admitted under this section in fiscal year 1980,
1981, or 1982, may not exceed fifty thousand unless the President
determines, before the beginning of the fiscal year and after appropriate
consultation (as defined in subsection (e)), that admission of a
specific number of refugees in excess of such number is justified by
humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest.
“(2) Except as provided in subsection (b), the number of refugees
who may be admitted under this section in any fiscal year after fiscal
year 1982 shall be such number as the President determines, before
the beginning of the fiscal year and after appropriate consultation, is
justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national
“(3) Admissions under this subsection shall be allocated among
refugees of special humanitarian concern to the United States in
accordance with a determination made by the President after appropriate
“(d)(1) Before the start of each fiscal year the President shall report
to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives
and of the Senate regarding the foreseeable number of refugees who
will be in need of resettlement during the fiscal year and the
anticipated allocation of refugee admissions during the fiscal year.
The President shall provide for periodic discussions between designated
representatives of the President and members of such committees
regarding changes in the worldwide refugee situation, the
progress of refugee admissions, and the possible need for adjustments
in the allocation of admissions among refugees.
“(2) As soon as possible after representatives of the President
initiate appropriate consultation with respect to the number of
refugee admissions under subsection (a) or with respect to the
admission of refugees in response to an emergency refugee situation
under subsection (b), the (Committees on the Judiciary of the House of
Representatives and of the Senate shall cause to have printed in the
Congressional Record the substance of such consultation.
“(3)(A) After the President initiates appropriate consultation prior
to making a determination under subsection (a), a hearing to review
the proposed determination shall be held unless public disclosure of
the details of the proposal would jeopardize the lives or safety of individuals.
“(e) For purposes of this section, the term ‘appropriate consultation*
means, with respect to the admission of refugees and allocation
of refugee admissions, discussions in person by designated
Cabinet-level representatives of the President with members of the
Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and of the House of
Representatives to review the refugee situation or emergency refugee
situation, to project the extent of possible participation of the United
States therein, to discuss the reasons for believing that the proposed
admission of refugees is justified by humanitarian concerns or grave
humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest, and
to provide such members with the following information:
“(1) A description of the nature of the refugee situation.
“(2) A description of the number and allocation of the refugees
to be admitted and an analysis of conditions within the countries
from which they came.
“(3) A description of the proposed plans for their movement
and resettlement and the estimated cost of their movement and
“(4) An analysis of the anticipated social, economic, and
demographic impact of their admission to the United States.
“(5) A description of the extent to which other countries will
admit and assist in the resettlement of such refugees.
“(6) An analysis of the impact of the participation of the United
States in the resettlement of such refugees on the foreign policy
interests of the United States.
“(7) Such additional information as may be appropriate or
requested by such members.
To the extent possible, information described in this subsection shall
be provided at least two weeks in advance of discussions in person by
designated representatives of the President with such members.
For all of my recent posts on the role Congress SHOULD be playing involving refugees, see my tag ‘Where is Congress.’