Tags: Emerging Threats | Homeland Security Immigration

David Miliband: US Refugee Policy Sending a 'Very Negative Message'

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IRC Pres. and CEO David Miliband (AP) 

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Monday, 07 Dec 2015 12:03 PM Current | Bio | Archive

David Miliband, head of the International Rescue Committee, tells Newsmax that Americans should take pride in the many refugees who have fled their homelands and established distinguished careers in the U.S. “Refugee resettlement is an American success story, from Albert Einstein to [former Secretary of State] Madeleine Albright to Sergey Brin [co-founder of Google],” he said, before addressing the 5th Annual forum of the St. Andrews Human Rights and Religious Freedom Reception in Washington, D.C.

Miliband criticized proposals in Congress such as the Safety from America’s Enemies Act, which passed the House resoundingly last month and places a moratorium on refugees admitted to the U.S.

A similar measure is Republican Rep. Brian Babin's proposal to deny funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Omnibus Spending Bill.

Supporters say that these measures are necessary because of worries that among the refugees will be ISIS terrorists. “The point is that [refugees] have to prove their worth,” said Miliband who is a former British Foreign Secretary, “The burden of proof is on them.”

Having “gone through Hell to get here,” he added, “all that [a host country] must do is teach them English, help them find a job, and then get them on the path to citizenship.”

According to Miliband, seven out of ten refugees become self-sufficient in a relatively short time. The efforts of American lawmakers to halt refugee admission to the U.S. and resettlement, he says, “sends a very negative message.”

Miliband was appointed U.K. foreign secretary at age 41 by then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

But in what the British press likened to a Shakespearean drama, Miliband was narrowly defeated for leader of the Labour Party by his younger brother Ed Miliband (under whom Labour suffered a crushing defeat by David Cameron’s Tories earlier this year).


David quit politics in 2013 and moved to New York to become president of the International Rescue Committee. Founded by Albert Einstein in 1933, the Committee now has a staff of 17,000 worldwide and an annual budget of $700 million.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.


 

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