Friday, December 22, 2017

Refugee Policy Horror Story: The 1980 Refugee Act



Excerpted by Nicholas Stix

The Long Shadow of the 1980 Refugee Act
By Wayne Lutton, Ph.D.
The Social Contract
Volume 28, Number 1 (Fall 2017)
Issue theme: The Refugee Crisis and Its Impact on the West

In the spring of 1980, the 96th Congress passed the United States Refugee Act (Public Law 96-212). Sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), the law amended the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962. It passed the Senate by unanimous vote and was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on March 17, 1980. The law went into effect on April 1 of that same year.

Prior to the 1980 Refugee Act, the United States tended to deal with refugees on a case-by-case basis. After World War II, Congress passed the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, followed by the Refugee Relief Act of 1953, and the Refugee-Escapee (from Communism) Act of 1957. The new law represented another manifestation of America’s post-Vietnam War guilt. The U.S. now accepted the United Nations’ definition of a refugee as “any person…unwilling or unable to return to their country of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”…

[Read the whole thing here.]

The Social Contract is an incredible resource, whose editors and contributors I can’t praise enough. For many years before I finally completed a project for this journal, I had talked and corresponded and met with, and occasionally broken bread with its staff, supporters, and contributors, whom I variously consider warm acquaintances, friends, and heroes. Its archive is a treasure trove of knowledge about immigration, the environment, jihad, and related issues.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have often thought that the Kennedy boys probably did more damage to this country than any other family has ever done.