Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

and recognize that it cannot easily be repeated in Fiscal Year 1991. We have therefore raised the funded level of Soviet refugees in Fiscal Year 1991 to 50,000.

The 121,000 figure is of course a ceiling, not a quota. Nevertheless, we believe that through cost-saving measures and new approaches to financing transportation costs, funding appropriated at the President's original budget request level can finance the projected 121,000 admissions. Let me be clear: Our ability to make use of these additional numbers will be dependent on (i) the appropriation of funds at the President's requested level for Fiscal Year 1991,

(ii) successful participation of refugees and their sponsors in financing a portion of transportation to the United States, and (iii) our ability to implement other cost-saving measures. Subject to these constraints, we are fully committed to covering the full 121,000 admissions within the authorized ceiling.

In closing, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to provide this update on some of our ongoing refugee policy concerns, and our plans for refugee admissions in the coming year. Your Committee's continued support of our refugee

programs worldwide is integral to our success.

Thank you.

STATEMENT OF JAMES H. HALL

Mr. HALL. Thank you, Secretary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. I am pleased to have this opportunity to appear before the Judiciary Committee to testify on the President's proposed refugee admissions program for fiscal year 1991.

Ambassador-at-Large Lafontant-Mankarious, U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs, regrets very much that she cannot be here today. She is fulfilling a longstanding commitment to lead the United States delegation at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva this week. We have submitted Ambassador LafontantMankarious' statement for the record.

Thank you.

Senator SIMON [presiding]. Thank you. It will be entered in the record.

[The prepared statement of Ambassador Lafontant-Mankarious follows:]

TESTIMONY OF

JEWEL LAFONTANT-MANKARIOUS

AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE

AND

U.S. COORDINATOR FOR REFUGEE AFFAIRS

SUBMITTED TO THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

UNITED STATES SENATE

OCTOBER 3, 1990

EMBARGOED_BEFORE_OCTOBER 3. 1990, 10:00 A.M.

The global refugee situation remains very serious despite several important successes in recent years. In fact, in some respects, the world refugee situation has worsened.

In the

last decade, the refugee population has doubled from approximately 7 million to an estimated 15 million. Today, conflicts in West Africa and on the Horn of Africa, sporadic fighting in Afghanistan, and the continuing plight of the Cambodians, compel the United States to maintain its leadership role in protecting and assisting the world's refugees.

Today's hearing is a culmination of an ongoing, year-long process involving Members of Congress, representatives of state and local governments and voluntary agencies. It is also an excellent opportunity for the Administration to provide the Congress with an overview of U.S. refugee policy and programs, as well as the President's refugee admissions proposal for fiscal year 1991.

In preparation for these hearings, I, along with other officials of the Administration, have had periodic discussions with Members and staff of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees as well as other interested Congressional committees. In addition, I chair a weekly meeting with

representatives from the Departments of State, Justice and

Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget and the National Security Council. When appropriate, a Policy Coordinating Committee on refugees meets to ensure that policy and program issues requiring interagency attention, including those that concern refugee admissions, receive prompt and systematic consideration.

As U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs, I am fully aware of the importance of cooperation and communication between the Departments of State and Health and Human Services on refugee admissions planning and on budgets. The Coordinator's office, the Department of State's Bureau for Refugee Programs, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS all closely monitor domestic resettlement programs. Consultations are also held

with representatives of state and local governments, public interest groups, private voluntary organizations and other organizations concerned with refugees.

The Administration is committed to strengthening and implementing an effective U.S. refugee admissions and assistance policy consistent with domestic and international concerns within a humanitarian framework. As I'm sure the Committee is aware, the enormous task of balancing these concerns has become increasingly difficult in recent years because of the growing number of refugees and constrained budgets.

Nevertheless, the United States continues to admit generous numbers of refugees to our country. At the same time,

« PreviousContinue »