Ted Kennedy Authors the Refugee Act of 1980

The Refugee Act is a 1980 United States federal law that reformed United States immigration law and admitted refugees on systematic basis for humanitarian reasons.

A 1985 ceiling of 70,000 refugees, with 270,000 immigrants total and 20,000 from any one country, was established. Annually, the Proposed Refugee Admissions Report to the Congress is written detailing new circumstances involving refugees worldwide, and determining the new annual ceiling of refugees resettling in the United States.

The Refugee Act of 1980 created The Federal Refugee Resettlement Program to provide for the effective resettlement of refugees and to assist them to achieve economic self-sufficiency as quickly as possible after arrival in the United States. Title IV, chapter 2 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains the provisions of the Refugee Act which are reflected in the following text:

[Note: The Refugee Act was reauthorized through the year 2002. H.R.3061 Text, PDF Sponsor: Rep Smith, Lamar (introduced 10/12/1999). Latest Major Action: 11/13/1999 Became Public Law No: 106-104. Title: To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to extend for an additional 2 years the period for admission of an alien as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(S) of such Act, and to authorize appropriations for the refugee assistance program under chapter 2 of title IV of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Exact Language: SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR REFUGEE ASSISTANCE. Section 414(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1524(a)) is amended by striking ``1998 and 1999'' and inserting "2000 through 2002''. Approved November 13, 1999.]