WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) reintroduced the Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act, which would provide visas to displaced Tibetans.
Thousands of Tibetans have gone into exile due to continuing repression in their homeland. 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 U.S. law may consider the Tibetans “firmly resettled” in a third country and might render them inadmissible to the U.S.
The Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act addresses this problem by providing 3,000 immigrant visas to qualified displaced Tibetans over a three-year period. The bill supports the well-being of the Tibetan exile community as they strive to find a peaceful solution for Tibet; helps the overburdened settlements in India and Nepal; and gives displaced Tibetans the opportunity to flourish as Tibetan-Americans.
Congressman Sensenbrenner: “The United States has a long record of giving humanitarian assistance to other countries in need, including providing refuge to those persecuted abroad. The religious injustice occurring to the Tibetan people by the Chinese government cannot be tolerated. As a global leader, America must act immediately to help these religiously persecuted individuals.”
Congresswoman Lofgren: “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 recognized by the United States for refugee assistance and afforded protection under U.S. Law.”