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Congressman Juan Vargas

Representing the 51st District of California

Reps Juan Vargas, David N. Cicilline and Bill Pascrell, Jr Lead Letter to the House Committee on Appropriations to Increase Funding for Refugee Related-Accounts

Dec 2, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC (December 3, 2015) - Yesterday, Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51), Rep. David N. Cicilline and Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr lead a group of Representatives from across the United States to send a letter to the House Appropriations Committee encouraging them to increase funding for refugee assistance and resettlement programs in the FY2016 budget.

“Over 75% of those seeking refuge in the US are women and children who are desperately trying to escape the danger that has removed them from their homes and continuously threatens their lives. Our screening process is rigorous and thorough; increasing funding would aid any areas where additional support is required,” said Rep. Vargas. “Providing the additional funds needed to support several refugee-related accounts would reflect our country’s moral leadership and counter ISIS’s barbaric acts.”

“This is the single worst refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War. Providing adequate funding for refugee assistance and resettlement will ensure that we thoroughly and expeditiously screen refugees in order to do our part to help those fleeing unspeakable violence,” said Rep. Cicilline. “I thank my colleagues for this strong show of support and their commitment to maintaining our values as a nation.”

“The United States has a moral obligation to do our part to assist in the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. The process for screening refugees is extensive and thorough, and we must ensure the resources and funding to support that process," said Rep. Pascrell. "I will continue the fight to promote, facilitate, and evaluate refugee resettlements in New Jersey and across the U.S.”

The letter encourages the Appropriations committee to provide funding for four main accounts:

  • The U.S. Agency for International Development’s International Disaster Assistance account.
  • The Department of State’s Migration and Refugee Assistance and Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance accounts.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Refugee and Entrant Assistance account.
  • The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, for the Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate account.

The full text of the letter can be found here: PDF iconFY16 Refugee Funding Appropriations Letter.pdf

Congressman Juan Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County and California’s entire US/Mexico border.  Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his second term in Congress.  He represented the 40th California State Senate District from 2010-2012, the 79th California State Assembly District from 2000 – 2006 and served on the San Diego City Council from 1993 – 2000.    

Congressman David N. Cicilline represents Rhode Island’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Congressman Pascrell represents New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District which includes the portions of Bergen, Passaic and Hudson County.  Pascrell was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 and is currently serving his ninth term in Congress. Prior to being elected to Congress, Pascrell served in the New Jersey General Assembly and was elected mayor of Paterson, New Jersey’s third largest city.