Introduced in House Passed House Introduced in Senate Passed Senate To President Became Law
02/06/2020          

Special Envoy for Refugees Act

Date Version PDF TXT
02/06/2020 Introduced in House Open

            I 

116TH CONGRESS 
2D SESSION H. R. 5791 

To establish the position of Special Envoy for Refugees in the Department 
of State, and for other purposes. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

FEBRUARY 6, 2020 
Mr. NEGUSE introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Com-

mittee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on the Judi-
ciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each 
case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of 
the committee concerned 

A BILL 
To establish the position of Special Envoy for Refugees in 

the Department of State, and for other purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-1

tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Special Envoy for Ref-4

ugees Act’’. 5

SEC. 2. FINDINGS. 6

Congress finds the following: 7

(1) In 2019, the world is in the midst of the 8

worst global displacement crisis in history, with 9

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2 

•HR 5791 IH

more than 70,800,000 forcibly displaced persons, in-1

cluding 25,900,000 refugees worldwide, over half of 2

whom are children, according to estimates from the 3

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 4

(2) In 2018, less than 5 percent of global reset-5

tlement needs were met despite there being 6

1,400,000 refugees in need of third-country resettle-7

ment. 8

(3) The United States refugee admissions pro-9

gram is a life-saving solution that— 10

(A) is critical to global humanitarian ef-11

forts; 12

(B) strengthens global security; 13

(C) leverages United States foreign policy 14

interests, including diplomatic and strategic in-15

terests of supporting allies who often host a sig-16

nificant and disproportionate share of refugees 17

per capita; 18

(D) stabilizes sensitive regions impacted by 19

forced migration by ensuring that the United 20

States shares responsibility for global refugee 21

protection; 22

(E) leverages refugee resettlement in the 23

United States to encourage other countries to 24

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•HR 5791 IH

uphold the human rights of refugees, including 1

by ensuring that refugees— 2

(i) have the right to work, the right to 3

an education, and freedom of movement; 4

and 5

(ii) are not returned to a place in 6

which their life or freedom is at risk; 7

(F) serves individuals and families in need 8

of resettlement; 9

(G) provides economic and cultural bene-10

fits to cities, States, and the United States as 11

a whole; and 12

(H) aligns with the international obliga-13

tions of the United States, including under— 14

(i) the Convention Relating to the 15

Status of Refugees, done at Geneva July 16

28, 1951 (as made applicable by the Pro-17

tocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 18

done at New York January 31, 1967 (19 19

U.S.T. 6223)), of which the United States 20

is a party; 21

(ii) the Convention against Torture 22

and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading 23

Treatment or Punishment, done at New 24

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•HR 5791 IH

York December 10, 1984, of which the 1

United States is a party; 2

(iii) the Convention relating to the 3

Status of Stateless Persons, done at New 4

York September 28, 1954; and 5

(iv) the Convention on the Reduction 6

of Statelessness, done at New York August 7

30, 1961. 8

(4) The United States has historically been, 9

and should continue to be, a global leader in— 10

(A) responding to displacement crises 11

around the world, including through the provi-12

sion of robust humanitarian support; 13

(B) promoting the safety, health, and well- 14

being of refugees and displaced persons; 15

(C) welcoming asylum seekers who seek 16

safety and protecting other at-risk migrants, in-17

cluding survivors of torture, victims of traf-18

ficking, and stateless people; and 19

(D) working alongside other countries to 20

strengthen protection systems and support. 21

(5) The United States has steadily reduced— 22

(A) access to asylum protection through 23

administrative policy and programmatic 24

changes, including policies and operational deci-25

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5 

•HR 5791 IH

sions aimed at reducing or stopping the ability 1

of asylum seekers to access the United States 2

border; and 3

(B) the resettlement of refugees, by way of 4

two consecutive historically low annual refugee 5

admissions goals after nearly 45 years during 6

which the average annual United States refugee 7

admissions goal was over 95,000 individuals. 8

(6) Refugees are— 9

(A) the most vetted travelers to enter the 10

United States; and 11

(B) subject to extensive screening checks, 12

including in-person interviews, biometric data 13

checks, and multiple interagency checks. 14

(7) The people of the United States, and com-15

munities across the United States, overwhelmingly 16

support refugees and asylum seekers, including peo-17

ple of faith, members of the Armed Forces, veterans, 18

elected officials, and retired high-ranking officials. 19

As a beacon of safe refuge and pluralistic society, 20

the United States should commit itself to addressing 21

the plight of refugees internationally. 22

(8) For the sake of refugees, asylum seekers, 23

other migrants, United States national diplomatic 24

and strategic interests, and local communities that 25

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6 

•HR 5791 IH

benefit from the presence of refugees, asylees, and 1

other migrants, it is crucial for a dedicated official 2

within the United States Government to coordinate 3

and promote United States initiatives to protect ref-4

ugees and asylum seekers. 5

SEC. 3. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR REFUGEES. 6

(a) IN GENERAL.—The President shall appoint a 7

Special Envoy for Refugees within the Bureau of Popu-8

lation, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of 9

State (hereafter in this section referred to as the ‘‘Special 10

Envoy’’) who shall report directly to the Secretary of State 11

and shall have the rank of ambassador. The Special Envoy 12

shall be an individual of distinction with recognized exper-13

tise relating to migration, refugees, asylum-seekers, and 14

internally displaced and stateless individuals. 15

(b) DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.—The Special 16

Envoy shall— 17

(1) directly advise the Secretaries of State, 18

Homeland Security, and Health and Human Serv-19

ices regarding the United States position relating to 20

migration, refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally 21

displaced and stateless individuals; 22

(2) represent the United States in diplomatic 23

matters relevant to the global displacement, migra-24

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7 

•HR 5791 IH

tion, refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally dis-1

placed and stateless individuals; 2

(3) lead interagency coordination to oversee evi-3

dence-based research related to the global refugee 4

crisis and the United States refugee program, in-5

cluding research on— 6

(A) the most effective ways to form and 7

implement policy to promote refugee resettle-8

ment in the United States; 9

(B) durable solutions for globally displaced 10

individuals abroad; and 11

(C) the economic and social impact of re-12

settlement of refugees and asylum seekers to 13

the United States; 14

(4) ensure that information disseminated by 15

Federal agencies and United States Government 16

partners with regard to refugees, asylum-seekers, 17

and internally displaced and stateless individuals is 18

evidence based; 19

(5) conduct regular consultation with non-20

governmental and international organizations, in-21

cluding the United Nation High Commissioner for 22

Refugees, to promote best practices for resettlement 23

and durable solutions for refugees, asylum-seekers, 24

and internally displaced and stateless individuals; 25

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8 

•HR 5791 IH

(6) lead interagency coordination to assess and 1

develop United States Government policies in re-2

sponse to the impact of climate change on global dis-3

placement, including the effects of climate change on 4

the forcible movement of people, the creation of new 5

refugees and other climate displaced people; and 6

(7) lead interagency and international coordina-7

tion to identify and promote the United States for-8

eign policy responses to issues that lead to global 9

displacement and the creation of new refugees, in-10

cluding global threats to civil rights, women’s rights, 11

religious freedom, and violent conflicts. 12

(c) STAFF.—The Special Envoy is authorized to hire 13

such personnel as may be necessary to carry out the duties 14

and responsibilities of the Special Envoy, including, at a 15

minimum, a chief of staff, a deputy chief of staff, and 16

an advisor. 17

(d) CONSULTATION.—The Special Envoy shall work 18

with the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to 19

ensure that appropriate consultation with Congress occurs 20

in a timely and thorough manner consistent with section 21

207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 22

1157). 23

(e) REPORTS AND BRIEFINGS.— 24

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9 

•HR 5791 IH

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than one year 1

after the date of the enactment of this Act, and an-2

nually thereafter, the Special Envoy— 3

(A) shall submit to the appropriate con-4

gressional committees a report on activities un-5

dertaken in the preceding 12 months under 6

subsection (b); 7

(B) shall brief the appropriate congres-8

sional committees on trends leading to global 9

displacement, and new refugees and asylum 10

seekers; 11

(C) should submit to the appropriate con-12

gressional committees a report on the outcomes 13

of the consultation with Congress undertaken in 14

the preceding 12 months as described in sub-15

section (d); and 16

(D) shall submit to the appropriate con-17

gressional committees an assessment of human 18

and financial resources necessary to fulfill the 19

purposes and duties of this Act. 20

(2) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMIT-21

TEES DEFINED.—In this subsection, the term ‘‘ap-22

propriate congressional committees’’ means— 23

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•HR 5791 IH

(A) the Committees on Foreign Affairs 1

and Judiciary of the House of Representatives; 2

and 3

(B) the Committees on Foreign Relations 4

and the Judiciary of the Senate. 5

Æ 

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Picture Name From Date Type
Joe Neguse D-CO 02/06/2020 Sponsor
Date Branch Action
03/10/2020 President Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship.Action By: Committee on the Judiciary
02/06/2020 President Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.Action By: House of Representatives
02/06/2020 President Introduced in HouseAction By: House of Representatives
Summary
There is one summary for H.R.5791. View summaries Shown Here:Introduced in House (02/06/2020) Special Envoy for Refugees Act This bill requires the President to appoint a Special Envoy for Refugees whose duties shall include (1) representing the United States in diplomacy related to global displacement, migration, refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced and stateless individuals; and (2) leading interagency coordination to oversee research related to the global refugee crisis and the U.S. refugee program.
Shown Here:Introduced in House (02/06/2020) Special Envoy for Refugees Act This bill requires the President to appoint a Special Envoy for Refugees whose duties shall include (1) representing the United States in diplomacy related to global displacement, migration, refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced and stateless individuals; and (2) leading interagency coordination to oversee research related to the global refugee crisis and the U.S. refugee program.
Congress - Bill Number Major Title
Branch Vote Date Yes No Not Voting
Wiki






Bill TEXT Points.
This Bill has been listed with the following Subjects from Texts:
Congress
FindingsCongress finds the following: (1)In 2019, the world is in the midst of the worst global displacement crisis in history, with more than 70,800,000 forcibly displaced persons, including 25,900,000 refugees worldwide, over half of whom are children, according to estimates from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Department of State
Neguse introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concernedA BILLTo establish the position of Special Envoy for Refugees in the Department of State, and for other purposes

Health
(b)Duties and responsibilitiesThe Special Envoy shall— (1)directly advise the Secretaries of State, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services regarding the United States position relating to migration, refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced and stateless individuals; (2)represent the United States in diplomatic matters relevant to the global displacement, migration, refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced and stateless individuals; (3)lead interagency coordinati

House of Representatives
House of Representatives 2020-02-06 text/xml EN Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code, this file is not subject to copyright protection and is in the public domain


End Bill TEXT Points.
Date Bill Major Title
Committee Name
Subject Type