March 16, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Disappointed by New Hampshire Legislative Action to Curtail Resettlement
(Washington, DC) – Refugee advocates expressed disappointment today with the New Hampshire House of Representatives which voted in favor of legislation that would seek to enable local governments to impose moratoriums on refugee resettlement. By a margin of 190 – 109 the chamber passed H.B. 1405 on Thursday. The bill could halt refugees from arriving in New Hampshire communities for up to one year.
“We are dismayed by the legislature’s decision, and I hope it will reconsider its action” said Lavinia Limon, President and CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). “Offering sanctuary to victims of war and persecution is at the heart of this nation’s history and remains one of our most noble traditions. Also, refugees contribute the richness of their cultural knowledge and the strength of their love of freedom and family to their new communities.”
At a House hearing last month, legal scholars questioned the constitutionality of HB 1405. By a margin of 15-1 the House Committee on Municipal and County Government voted the measure “inexpedient to legislate”. Thursday’s vote in favor of the measure came despite that the recommendation.
“Since my discussions last August with Mayor Gatsas, 24 refugee families - 49 human beings in all - have been resettled in Manchester. All of them were reunited with direct family members, and are beginning to build new lives with the freedom and opportunities available in New Hampshire. I know they are grateful for their new beginnings.”
USCRI has been protecting refugees, serving immigrants and upholding freedom since 1911. Visit our website at www.refugees.org.
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants is a Washington, DC area based nonprofit organization, dedicated to addressing the needs and rights of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide by advancing fair and humane public policy, facilitating and providing direct professional services, and promoting the full participation of refugees and immigrants in community life.
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, 2231 Crystal Drive Suite 350,
Arlington, VA 22202-3794, (703) 310-1130, www.refugees.org