House Immigration Subcommittee to hold oversight hearing on refugee program tomorrow

Here is the press release (hat tip Joanne): from the Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee with jurisdiction over the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program.

See the list of Subcommittee members below.  If any of those members are your representatives you should reach them today with your opinion on the program.

Raul Labrador

To have some real impact on this hearing, folks in Idaho must get to Rep. Labrador today!

Supposedly they will be addressing “fraud” (we’ll see!) and lack of consultation with communities!

Contacts on the press release are these:

Kathryn Rexrode or Jessica Collins
(202) 225-3951

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 9:00 a.m., the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the United States Refugee Admissions Program.

The Refugee Admissions Program is tasked with vetting and resettling refugees in the United States and is administered by the Department of State in conjunction with the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services. In recent years, there have been concerns that the program is susceptible to fraud and poses national security concerns due to the inability to thoroughly screen refugees seeking resettlement. In addition, the program has been criticized for its resettlement process, including that state and local governments are not consulted when refugees are resettled in their communities. The Trump Administration has taken these concerns seriously and is implementing changes to enhance the security of the program and the processes to ensure smooth resettlement.

At this week’s hearing, members of the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee will hear from officials from the agencies that administer the Refugee Admissions Program on what steps they are taking to address concerns about the program. Additionally, the Subcommittee will hear from the Government Accountability Office regarding their reports on fraud and security issues within the program.

Editor: Of course they NEVER hold a hearing with citizen witnesses who have vast experience in how the program has gone wrong where they live. Watch these witnesses spin!  Please restrain yourselves from throwing a shoe at the screen!

Witnesses for the hearing are:

Mr. Simon Henshaw, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, Department of State  [Shamefully Trump has made no move to put his own choice to head the program at State.—ed]

The Honorable Lee Francis Cissna, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Scott Lloyd, Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Department of Health and Human Services

Ms. Rebecca Gambler, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Unit, U.S. Government Accountability Office

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) issued the statements below in advance of this hearing.

Chairman Goodlatte: “For generations, the United States has been a safe haven for those around the world fleeing persecution in their home countries. We must maintain our nation’s generosity toward those in need but must also ensure that our nation’s humanitarian programs are not abused by those seeking to harm our nation and our citizens. This week, the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee will closely look at the Refugee Admissions Program and examine the concerns that have been raised about it in recent years, including fraud and abuse, vetting procedures, the lack of consultation with state and local communities, and the arbitrary annual ceiling. I look forward to hearing how the Trump Administration is addressing these concerns to enhance the safety of our nation and ensure that the program works as intended to benefit those most at risk of persecution.”

Subcommittee Chairman Labrador: “As Americans, we have a long tradition of helping refugees who are fleeing persecution and wish to become contributing members of our society. However, our refugee program needs to be reformed to keep pace with the security challenges of today’s world. President Trump recognizes those challenges, and I look forward to hearing how his administration is working to restore confidence in the refugee program. Congress has a role play, as well. I’ve introduced legislation, H.R. 2826, which enhances refugee screening, curbs fraud, and gives states and communities a voice in refugee settlement decisions. This bill has already been approved by the Judiciary Committee, and I am eager to hear from the witnesses how the solutions featured in my bill can further improve the refugee program.”

This hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at

Here are the subcommittee members as of July 2017:

Screenshot (1008)


I have little confidence (after 10 years of observing the issue) that Congress is going to ever go so far as to trash or seriously reform the US Refugee Admissions Program (hearings like this one are extremely rare), but hope springs eternal, and if you would like to tell them what is happening where you live, try contacting those contacts listed above. Good luck!

But, don’t stop working hard where you live! See here.