H.R. 5851: Refugee Protection Act of 2016

On July 14, 2016, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the Refugee Protection Act of 2016, which includes provisions to address many of the severe, longstanding problems in the U.S. refugee and asylum systems.

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced the Senate companion on the same day.

Among other things, the Refugee Protection Act would:

  • Eliminate the one-year asylum filing deadline that unjustly bars thousands of individuals who need protection from seeking relief;
  • Make the system more fundamentally fair by appointing counsel for children, victims of violence, and other vulnerable populations;
  • Improve border screening protocols by allowing child welfare professionals to assist in the interviewing of children;
  • Bolster the integrity of the system by increasing the availability of legal orientation programs and requiring quality control mechanisms during screening processes; and,
  • Strengthen due process by providing asylum seekers a more meaningful opportunity to substantiate their claims in court and to clarify inconsistencies in the record.

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Cite as AILA Doc. No. 16071412.

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