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US Congress reintroduces Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act

The Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act provides 3,000 immigrant visas to qualified displaced Tibetans over a three-year period.


  |  Updated On : June 29, 2017 02:48 PM
US Congress reintroduces Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act (Source: PTI)

US Congress reintroduces Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act (Source: PTI)

Washington :  

To help the over burdened Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal, a bipartisan legislation to provide visas to Tibetans was reintroduced in US Congress by two lawmakers. 

The Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act addresses provides 3,000 immigrant visas to qualified displaced Tibetans over a three-year period.

"The United States has a long record of giving humanitarian assistance to other countries in need, including providing refuge to those persecuted abroad", said Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who reintroduced the Act in the House of Representatives on Tuesday along with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.

"The United States has a long record of giving humanitarian assistance to other countries in need, including providing refuge to those persecuted abroad", he said.

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The bill supports the well-being of the Tibetan exile community as they strive to find a peaceful solution for Tibet; helps the over burdened settlements in India and Nepal; and gives displaced Tibetans the opportunity to flourish as Tibetan-Americans.

Lofgren said the Tibetan people have suffered decades of persecution at the hands of the Chinese government.

"After the devastation of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, it is even more necessary for displaced Tibetans to be recognised by the United States for refugee assistance and afforded protection under US law", she said.

Noting that thousands of Tibetans have gone into exile due to continuing repression in their homeland, the two lawmakers said these refugees have worked to preserve their religious and cultural identity in exile communities in India and Nepal, but the influx of Tibetans creates many challenges and places an economic burden on these countries.

"Because they fled Tibet, current US law may consider the Tibetans 'firmly resettled' in a third country and might render them inadmissible to the US", they said.

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Betty McCollum urged her Congressional colleagues and the US President to stand with the people of Tibet to promote human rights, religious freedom, and a meaningful political dialogue.

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"China is a powerful country. But, the United States is a free and powerful country. The United States must never abandon our commitment to freedom, justice, and human rights around the world. And, we must never abandon the people of Tibet", she said in her remarks to welcome the Dalai Lama to Minnesota on Saturday (June 24).

"Let me also urge President Trump to meet directly with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and listen to his wise and compassionate insights. Mr Trump needs to hear why ongoing US support for Tibet is vital", she had said.

First Published: Thursday, June 29, 2017 02:29 PM


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