It has been a brutal summer for Syrians across the country, but Aleppo has been an inferno of misery. With ceasefires never holding, rival factions in open street warfare, and the international superpowers clearly not aligned - the death toll continues to rise and Aleppo becomes an even graver humanitarian disaster. Over the past two weeks we've been gone, a lot has happened on the battlefield and in Congress. The Assad regime, backed by Russian airstrikes, stands accused of targeting 6 hospitals in Aleppo and using chemical weapons (again) against its people in Idlib province. Reports of a humanitarian corridor to give escape to the people of Aleppo are now sounding more ominous of future misery than a helpful route out. Meanwhile in Washington, there's also no end in sight - well actually, March 2018 is the new end for "Temporary Protected Status" granted to Syrians in America, as President Obama announced an 18 month extension of the important designation allowing Syrians to stay. But the highly politicized battle over the U.S. refugee resettlement program wages on without abatement. Just as Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the U.S. is on track to resettle 10,000 Syrians by October, the Senate and House of Representatives were plotting their own plans for the program. In the House, Rep. Babin (R, TX- and 44 cosponsors  introduced a bill - HR 5816 - that would suspend the program and commission a study to "examine the impact on the national security of the U.S. of admitting refugees." The bill was referred to committee, where we hope it languishes in the bigotry that motivates it. In the Senate - thanks the the leadership of  - an important bill called the "Refugee Protection Act" (S.3241) was introduced earlier this month (although it was first introduced in 2010). The bill, provides greater protection for asylum seekers and refugees. While it remains unfortunate that the issue of Syrian refugees is politicized, we are pleased we have some politicians who rise to the occasion and defend what is right. 

comments powered by Disqus