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19 San Diego L. Rev. 9 (1981-82)
Forty Year Crisis: A Legislative History of the Refugee Act of 1980, The

handle is hein.journals/sanlr19 and id is 17 raw text is: The Forty Year Crisis: A Legislative
History of the Refugee Act of 1980
This article analyzes the legal responses of the United States to is-
sues of refugee and asylum policy in the post-World War II pe-
riod that culminated in the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980.
The authors describe the consensus for a humanitarian, nondis-
criminatory policy which led to the passage of the Refugee Act.
This legislative history demonstrates the effort to develop a coher-
ent and flexible refugee admission policy and to create statutory
mechanisms to mediate the conflict between the executive and
legislative branches over the control and standards for refugee
admissions. The article evaluates the implementation of the Refu-
gee Act, proposals by recent administrations for reform, and of-
fers a series of recommendations for future refugee and asylum
In good measure, our country's humanitarian tradition of extending a
welcome to the world's homeless has been accomplished in spite of, not be-
cause of our laws relating to refugees. 1
* Member of the Massachusetts Bar. BA, Brandeis University, 1969; J.D.,
Northeastern University, 1975; Chairperson of Boston Immigration Committee of
the National Lawyers Guild; Member of the Committee on Asylum and Refugees
of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Currently Ms. Anker is Direc-
tor of the International Institute of Boston.
** Member of the California and Illinois Bars. BA, University of Michigan
1972; J.D., University of California at Berkley (Boalt Hall) 1975. Currently Mr. Pos-
ner is Executive Director of the Lawyer's Committee for International Human
Rights in New York City. (The authors wish to express their gratitude for edito-
rial assistance to Ms. Sue Kaplan, Harvard Law School; Mr. Evan Slavitt attorney
with the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice; and Pro-
fessor Michael Schwartz, Sociology Department, State University of New York at
Stonybrook, New York).
1. Statement of Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, Hearings on H.R. 2816
Before the Subcomm. on Immigration, Refugees and International Law of the
December 1981 Vol. 19 No. 1

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