Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont introduced the Refugee Protection Act of 2010 to the senate this month. This bill hopes to make improvements to the current law, the Refugee Act of 1980, by making the process for asylum seekers more streamlined and accessible. This is an improvement that the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants finds is crucial.
The current legislation requires a waiting period of a year before asylees can be granted work permits. The proposed bill would eliminate this waiting period, allowing asylees to automatically become lawful permanent residents. This is arguably even more important for asylees, who often times are fleeing terrible conditions in their home country and are often the most vulnerable, because it will not only provide them the means to be more self sustaining, but also aid in their assimilation to the United States.
The bill is cosponsored by Senators Carl Levin of Michigan, Richard Durbin of Illinois, and Daniel Akaka of Hawaii.