Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) is pushing a bill that would expedite the asylum process for Christians and other minority groups fleeing the Islamic State.
The Religious Persecution Relief Act, officially launched on March 17, 2016, “would grant religious minorities fleeing persecution at the hands of ISIS and other groups in Syria priority status so they can apply directly to the U.S. resettlement program,” instead of their going through the U.N. refugee agency.
Tom Cotton spoke out about his new bill in a radio interview on March 22. He also noted that Secretary of State John Kerry has recently designated the Islamic State’s campaign of religious persecution and mass murder as genocide.
“I think the U.S. has a moral imperative to try and save these Christians and the other small minority groups,” Cotton said. “So I would create a special kind of visa program that wouldn’t take any access away from anyone else in the United States, but would recognize that Christians — like Jews in the Soviet Union — are being singled out for persecution and elimination. That’s in our interest, as it is in combating the Islamic State.”
Get a preview of Clarion Project’s upcoming film, Faithkeepers, about the violent persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The film features exclusive footage and testimonials of Christians, Baha’i, Yazidis, Jews, and other minority refugees, and a historical context of the persecution in the region.