(TibetanReview.net, Jun12, 2015) – A bill was introduced in the US House of Representative on Jun 4, proposing to provide 3,000 immigrant visas to qualified displaced Tibetans over a three-year period, said Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet Jun 10. Titled as Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act (H.R.2679), it was introduced by Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.).
The contents of the bill are substantially similar to HR 6536 which was introduced by Representatives Sensenbrenner and George Miller (D-CA) in 2008. That bill lapsed after it went to the House Judiciary Committee apparently due to lack of committed lobbying.
Sensenbrenner had traveled to Dharamshala, India, in Mar 2008 as part of a Congressional delegation led by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to meet with the Dalai Lama and explore ways to demonstrate support for the Tibetan people.
As before, the current bill describes a qualified Tibetan as an individual who is a native of Tibet and has been continuously residing in India or Nepal at the time of the enactment of the Act.
Both the Congress members have referred to the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal, the persecution of Tibetans by the Chinese government, the Tibetan people’s struggle for religious and cultural freedom, and the need for recognition by the United States to provide refugee assistance and protection under US law to the displaced Tibetans.