Washington, DC – Today, Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) and Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) released the following joint statement ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20th. The legislators introduced a bipartisan, bicameral resolution (H.Res.902S.Res.545) that acknowledges the many contributions refugees have made to America over the last 40 years since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980 and recognizes the continued need for bipartisan support of efforts to welcome refugees.

The legislators issued the following joint statement on the resolution:

“On June 20th, we celebrate World Refugee Day to honor the resilience of refugees and recognize their many contributions to the fabric of American society and countries around the world – particularly as refugees have been working on the frontlines in essential jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is a time to come together in a show of solidarity with refugees globally. We must abide by the cherished domestic and international legal obligations of the United States to protect refugees who flee war and persecution, in search of religious liberty, democracy, peace, hope, and freedom. We must live up to our values as Americans and support the most vulnerable among us. On this World Refugee Day, we invite all to join us in lifting up the stories of refugees in our communities and all across our great nation.”


This year marks the historic 40th anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980, which created the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program and the United States asylum system. The resolution commemorates this anniversary and reaffirms a commitment to the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program. 

This program is a lifesaving solution critical to global humanitarian efforts that serves to:

  1. Strengthen global security; 
  2. Advance the United States foreign policy goals and national security interests;
  3. Support countries that host hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of refugees;
  4. Collaborate with and support the efforts of the international community to support and resettle vulnerable populations;
  5. Stabilize sensitive conflicts and regions around the globe; and 
  6. Encourage other nations to contribute to this cause through humanitarian support, resettlement, and finding strategies to address existing conflict and prevent future conflict.

Full text of the House and Senate resolutions: H.Res.902S.Res.545.

In addition to Reps. Sylvia Garcia and John Curtis and Senator Chris Coons, this resolution is supported by: Sen. James Lankford (OK), Rep. James McGovern (MA-2), Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51), Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-5), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15), Rep. Filemon Vela (TX-34), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Rep. Lisa Blunt-Rochester (DE-At Large), Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11), Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Rep. Josh Harder (CA-10), Rep. Debra Haaland (NM-1), Rep. John Katko (NY-24), Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-5), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05), Rep. David Trone (MD-06), Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (CA-38), Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09), and Rep. Christopher Smith (NJ-04).

The resolution is supported by the following faith-based and other refugee/immigrant-related national organizations: Anti-Defamation League, Adorers of the Blood of Christ, Albany Province Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Justice Committee, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Amnesty International USA, Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture, Bethany Christian Services, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Cameroon American Council, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Boston (local), Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, Center for Victims of Torture, Christian Community Development Association, Church World Service, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Coalition on Human Needs, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Columbia Law School, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces, Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, Congregation of St. Joseph, Christian Reform Church in North America, Office of Social Justice, Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul USA, Disciples of Christ, Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Dominican Sisters of Hope, Dominican Sisters of Houston, Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, Florida Council of Churches (local), Franciscan Action Network, Franciscan Peace Center, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Freedom Network USA, Friends in Solidarity, Inc., Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, HIAS, Haitian Bridge Alliance, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, Interfaith Welcome Coalition, International Refugee Assistance Project, International Rescue Committee, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, Islamic Relief USA, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Journey’s End Refugee Services, Justice Team of the Congregation of St. Joseph, Justice, Peace & Reconciliation Commission, Priests of the Sacred Heart, US Province, Justice, Peace, & Integrity of Creation Committee, Dominican Sisters, Springfield IL, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Little Sisters of the Assumption, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (local), Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Multicultural Efforts to end Sexual Assault,  Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, National Council of Jewish Women, National Immigration Forum, National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, New American Pathways, Niskanen Center, Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity/Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, Only Through US, Oxfam America, Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, Refugee Congress, Refugee One, Refugees International, Religious Sisters of Charity, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Central Pacific Province, Servants of Mary US/Jamaica Community, Sister of St. Joseph, Sisters of Bon Secours, USA, Sisters of Charity of Blessed Virgin Mary, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Congregational Leadership, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Leadership, Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill U.S. Province, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Justice Team, Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA, Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Sisters of the Holy Cross, Sisters of the Holy Family, Sisters of the Humility of Mary, Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of O’Fallon, MO, Sisters of the Presentation, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, LA Province, The Episcopal Church, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, UNICEF USA, Union for Reform Judaism, Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (USA Unit), Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services, Washington Office on Latin America, We Are All America, Welcoming America, Witness at the Border, and World Relief.