(Hartford, CT) – In response to reports of an escalating refugee crisis in Europe and the middle east, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chair of the Senate Human Trafficking Caucus and member of the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, issued the following statement:
“As the son of an immigrant who fled German persecution in 1935, I believe deeply that all countries share an obligation to provide for refugees displaced by war and oppression. I therefore support a policy of American generosity and humanitarian relief toward the refugees seeking to escape the brutal Syrian civil war and the horrors ISIS is inflicting on civilians in Syria and Iraq.
“Our obligation to these refugees is multifaceted. First, humanitarian aid is desperately needed in countries where refugees are now: Jordan, Turkey, and Southern and Central Europe must be able to provide refugee camps that are fit places for people to live, with adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, education, and other elements of a safe and stable life. The United States should show international leadership in ensuring the availability of these resources – and in pressing Saudi Arabia and our other allies in the region to fulfill their obligation and do their part both in assisting those fleeing war and in bringing about a diplomatic resolution to this crisis. Their absence is regrettable and reprehensible.
“I also believe that this country should consider expanding the number of refugees within our borders, sustaining services both to adequately screen applicants and to welcome and integrate new arrivals into local communities. The United States has a proud moral tradition and heritage of aiding refugees who need our help when their homelands are in turmoil – a tradition and heritage, symbolized by the Statue of Liberty, that we must maintain in the face of today's horrific conflicts in the Middle East.”