Arlington, Virginia – The Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc. (ECDC) urges members of Congress to support and pass the Guaranteed Refugee Admissions Ceiling Enhancement (GRACE) Act was introduced last night in the Senate by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and is expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Joe Neguse (D-CO) tomorrow.
It has been 41 years since the signing of the bipartisan Refugee Act of 1980, establishing the United States refugee resettlement program. Since then, the U.S. has resettled over three million refugees. Under the previous ministration, the resettlement program admissions was reduced to 15,000—the lowest number since the program began. The GRACE Act will give Congress more oversight of the resettlement program’s operations and set the annual refugee admissions number at a minimum of 125,000. This is a crucial step towards restoring and protecting the United States refugee resettlement program.
The president will still be able to set the determination above 125,000 if he/she chooses to do so.
Tsehaye Teferra, Ph.D., President of ECDC, one of the country’s nine national resettlement agencies, said, “I urge members of Congress to support the GRACE Act to ensure the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program can and will be responsive in meeting the needs of the global refugee crisis. This legislation demonstrates that the U.S. is committed to doing its part as a global humanitarian leader.”
In supporting the GRACE Act, the United States will reestablish its global legacy in helping people who have escaped persecution and violence yet still face unknown futures. ECDC urges bipartisan support of this important legislation that will also restore America’s reputation as a nation of welcome and opportunity.
ECDC’s mission is to resettle refugees, promote cultural, educational, and socio-economic development in the refugee and immigrant community in the United States, and conduct humanitarian and development programs in the Horn of Africa. For more information about ECDC, please visit our website www.ecdcus.org.