On World Refugee Day, USCCB Official urges United States to Remain Global Leader

June 20, 2011 By Public Affairs Office

In remarks made in commemoration of the United Nation’s World Refugee Day June 20, Ambassador Johnny Young, executive director of Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged the United States to maintain its role as a global leader in refugee protection.

“Without U.S. leadership, the situation for the world’s 15 million refugees would be much worse,” Ambassador Young said. “We must remain committed to refugee protection and to the U.S. refugee program, which saves thousands of lives each year.”

In his remarks, Ambassador Young expressed the support of the USCCB for the Refugee Protection Act, which was introduced in Congress last week. The proposed legislation would strengthen protections for refugees and asylum-seekers who find safe haven in the United States.

“I commend Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) for their introduction of the Refugee Protection Act and urge Congress to enact it as soon as possible.”

The legislation would, among other things, eliminate the one-year filing deadline for aliens in the United States to apply for asylum, authorize the Secretary of State to designate certain vulnerable groups as eligible for expedited adjudication of refugees, and facilitate the reunification of families who have been unnecessarily kept apart.

“A large number of refugees rescued by our nation are themselves victims of terror and are in need of protection from such threats,” Ambassador Young concluded. “We can ensure the integrity of the U.S. refugee program without sacrificing its vitality and capacity.”

Migration and Refugee Services of USCCB is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the United States, serving close to 20,000 refugees every year.
Keywords: refugees, immigration, World Day of Refugees, Ambassador Johnny Young, Migration and Refugee Services, Senator Patrick Leahy, Representative Zoe Lofgren, Refugee Protection Act