News & Resources

“An offer of solace and shelter to victims of war and torture should be real and permanent, not subject to political whims and yearly rethinking.”

A New York Times editorial urges immediate congressional action to prevent 2,195 refugees in the United States, many of them elderly and disabled, from losing their eligibility for refugee benefits this Friday.

These refugees, and about 400-500 more with each passing month, are at risk because of a 1996 law that penalized refugees who didn’t become citizens within seven years of arrival. Starting in 2008, Congress passed a series of measures to keep the aid flowing—but this fix requires yearly renewal, and in the current budget climate, even a measure extending only a “microscopic fraction of the federal budget” to a uniquely vulnerable population is not a sure thing.

The Editors of the New York Times strongly urge Congress to act quickly and ethically to pass the extension—and then to sever this “link between naturalization and life-saving benefits for the old, sick and disabled.”