Edward Markey

From the office of:

Edward Markey

From: The Honorable Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Sent By:
Date: 9/30/2015

Briefing On:

The Syrian Refugee Crisis

& the U.S. Response

Thursday, October 1, 2015

4:00 PM

441 Cannon House Office Building

Dear Colleague:

As both Congress and the Administration seek ways to demonstrate U.S. leadership in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and the plight of Syrian refugees, I invite you and your staff to a timely and important briefing. On Thursday, October 1, 2015, I will join Rep. Zoe Lofgren in hosting a briefing entitled “The Syrian Refugee Crisis & U.S. Response” from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in 441 Cannon House Office Building.

The world is facing a global refugee crisis, with more than 60 million individuals displaced from their homes. Due to the Syrian crisis alone, more than eight million people are internally displaced and four million are seeking refuge in the region and in Europe. Seventy-six percent of these refugees are women and children. Jordan is hosting more than 500,000 Syrians, Lebanon more than one million, and Turkey more than two million. Germany has shown leadership in announcing that it will accept one million Syrians through refugee resettlement, asylum, sponsorship, and humanitarian admission programs. In this time of crisis, the United States must find a way to resettle an increased number of Syrian refugees.

The United States is a land of opportunity and ingenuity, and where there is a will, there is a way. In response to the fall of Saigon, the United States resettled more than 130,000 Vietnamese refugees in 1975, and then 200,000 in 1980. The Administration has a host of options it can use to increase the resettlement of Syrian refugees. Congress can support this effort by encouraging creative solutions and funding both international assistance and the agencies within the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services that identify, process, and resettle refugees.

International and domestic experts on refugee protection and resettlement, as well as a Syrian refugee recently resettled in the United States, will speak at this briefing about the ways the United States can do more to assist and welcome Syrian refugees. Speakers include Naomi Steinberg, Director of Refugee Council USA; Jana Mason, Senior Advisor for External Relations and Government Affairs at UNHCR (The U.N. Refugee Agency), Washington, DC Office; Anna Greene, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee (U.S. Programs); Mahmoud Mahmoud, Jersey City Director of Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Program; and Hussam Al Roustom, a refugee from Syria who is now living in New Jersey. There will be ample time for questions.

For more information on this briefing and to RSVP, please contact Dylan Sodaro in Rep. Pascrell’s office or Maunica Sthanki in Rep. Lofgren’s office at


Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-9)                                Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)