U.S., Canadian Leaders Discuss Refugee Resettlement

Communications Associate

July 11, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today on Capitol Hill, U.S. and Canadian leaders joined a National Immigration Forum panel on “The State of Refugee Resettlement in 2016.”

Experts from government and advocacy spoke about the policies, programs and politics of refugee resettlement in the United States and Canada. In a panel discussion that touched on the economic and cultural benefits of welcoming refugees, speakers called for a global response of compassion and innovation.

The following are quotes from speakers at today’s event:

MP Arif Virani, Canadian Parliamentary Secretary of Immigration:
“Canada’s unique program of private sponsorship, where ordinary people come together to welcome refugees from all over the world and support them as they build new lives in Canada, is a source of great pride. We are ready and willing to share our knowledge and experience internationally as the world faces the challenges presented by millions of displaced people.”

Wendy Young, President, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND):
“The U.S. has historically served as the leader in refugee resettlement. As we address the Central American refugee crisis on our back doorstep, we should build on this tradition and implement a robust regional resettlement program to protect vulnerable children and families. Refugee children and families should be provided protection, regardless of where they are from.”

Bill Canny, Executive Director, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration and Refugee Services:
“We know that this country is successful because of its diversity; we know it socially, economically, we know it by walking through its streets. We need to continue to evolve as a country and not put the drawbridge up and stop. If we do continue to have forced migration, we have to find ways to accept and integrate people into our country in a correct manner. We have to get immigration reform and refugee resettlement back to a bipartisan agreement.”

Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum:
“In response to what UNHCR has called the largest displacement crisis on record, we need to find a national refugee resettlement strategy that is both compassionate and effective. Our country thrives when all migrants to the U.S. have the opportunities, skills and status they need to reach their fullest potential. Ultimately, we need our elected officials to lead on one of the most difficult but deeply important humanitarian issues of our time.”