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AJR-19 Refugees.(2019-2020)

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AJR19:v96#DOCUMENT

Assembly Joint Resolution No. 19
CHAPTER 183

Relative to refugees.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 26, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AJR 19, Gloria. Refugees.
This measure would welcome refugees and declare its support for the resettlement of refugees in California, no matter their religion, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, or country of origin, and calls upon other local governments and communities to join them in supporting a stronger national effort to resettle the world’s most vulnerable refugees. This measure would call on the federal government to resettle all 30,000 refugees that the United States has committed to resettle in the fiscal year 2019, and would call on Congress and the presidential administration to raise the Presidential Determination to at least 75,000 refugees for fiscal year 2020.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has determined that there are over 25,900,000 refugees worldwide, over one-half of whom are under 18 years of age; and
WHEREAS, These refugees include torture survivors, people with severe medical conditions, LGBTIQ individuals, orphaned children, and women at risk of gender-based violence, all of whom cannot return to their homelands and cannot stay in their host countries due to their extreme vulnerability; and
WHEREAS, The United States participates in a resettlement program that is critical to global humanitarian efforts, and reflects America’s finest values, with the State of California welcoming refugees in 1975 after the fall of Saigon; and
WHEREAS, Refugees that enter the United States are the most vetted travelers to enter this country and are subject to extensive screening checks, including in-person interviews, biometric data checks, and multiple interagency checks; and
WHEREAS, In over 40 years of resettlement programming, agencies have resettled over 700,000 refugees and over 18,000 special immigrant visa (SIV) recipients in California with the most recent refugees arriving from countries, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Syria, and Iran; and
WHEREAS, California has been and continues to be a home to a diverse population of refugees, asylees, and SIV recipients and has led legislative efforts to enable a more simplified adjustment to living in the United States by expanding access to state higher education and expanding funding for public education services and workforce development; and
WHEREAS, These new residents are workers, students, entrepreneurs, parents, neighbors, and community leaders who contribute more than they consume in state-funded services, including schooling and health care; and
WHEREAS, Refugees contribute to California communities by starting businesses, paying taxes, and sharing their cultural traditions; and
WHEREAS, Given the unbelievable hardships that they have experienced and their value and contributions as residents of the great State of California, it is fitting and proper for this state to declare itself a welcoming home for the refugees resettled in our communities; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature welcomes refugees and declares its support for the resettlement of refugees in California, no matter their religion, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, or country of origin, and calls upon other local governments and communities to join California in supporting a stronger national effort to resettle the world’s most vulnerable refugees; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature calls on the federal government to resettle all 30,000 refugees that the United States has committed to resettle in the fiscal year 2019; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature calls on Congress and the presidential administration to raise the Presidential Determination to at least 75,000 refugees for fiscal year 2020; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the President and the Vice President of the United States, to the Majority Leader of the Senate, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, and to the author for appropriate distribution.