[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8538--JUNE 18, 2010

Proclamation 8538 of June 18, 2010
World Refugee Day, 2010
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

On World Refugee Day, we honor the contributions and resilience of those
forced to flee from their homelands due to violence, persecution, or
natural disasters. The hard-earned wisdom, diverse experiences, and
unceasing courage of refugees enrich our Nation and strengthen our
unique narrative--that America stands as a beacon of hope and opens our
doors to those in need. Today, we celebrate the triumph of the human
spirit exemplified by these displaced individuals, and acknowledge the
compassion of those who welcome them into their homes and communities.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980. This
historic legislation championed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy created the
current Federal Refugee Resettlement Program and codified into law the
right to asylum for refugees. Through the Refugee Act and continued
humanitarian aid, America's leadership in international relief efforts
and in defense of human rights has helped expand protections for
countless refugees, internally displaced persons, and other victims
around the world.
Some refugees face bleak prospects of returning to their native soil,
and they must find security in peaceful areas. Many uprooted people have
found safe haven in America, bringing with them determination and
optimism to contribute to our cultural, economic, and intellectual
fabric. Welcoming more refugee men, women, and children than any other
country, the United States has provided a home to some of the world's
most vulnerable individuals, enriching our own country and advancing our
leadership in the world.
Refugees face daunting challenges in an unfamiliar society with new
rules, new resources, and often a new language. Yet, in spite of all
they have faced--harrowing acts of violence or devastation, flight
across borders in search of aid and shelter, uncertain and often
prolonged stays in camps, and travel to a strange country--refugees are
survivors. Living in the United States presents an opportunity to move
forward, one that countless refugees from all over the globe have
embraced. Their remarkable determination to rebuild a brighter future
after great adversity embodies our Nation's promise and spirit of
boundless possibility.

On June 20, we recognize the past 30 years of refugee resettlement and
protection in the United States as a demonstration of our overall
efforts in support of people in need around the world. Recognizing the
continuing challenges and barriers faced by refugees, my Administration
has undertaken a comprehensive review of the United States Refugee
Admissions Program, with the goal of strengthening support for refugees
and those who assist them. This will build on the vital work of
international organizations like the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees, which provide emergency food, shelter,
medical care, and other types of assistance to those uprooted by crisis.
As we commemorate World Refugee Day, we recommit to ensuring that

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the blessings of liberty and opportunity are available to all who seek
it.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 20, 2010, as
World Refugee Day. I call upon all the people of the United States to
observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of
June, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence
of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
BARACK OBAMA