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Briefing on the History of US Refugee Policy

  • 2045 Rayburn House Office Building (map)

The United States has provided a haven for refugees from other countries since it was created.  Yet their arrival has often provoked political controversy and spurred calls to close borders.  What has driven past waves of refugees and how has the federal government responded?  How can the history of US refugee and asylum policy inform our understanding of current debates over refugee admittance and protections?