U.S. Rep Mike Bishop co-sponsors bill expediting refugee visa processing

U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Rochester Hills) has co-sponsored a bill that aims to expedite the processing of refugee visas for Christians and Yazidis from certain countries in the Middle East.

(REUTERS / Ari Jalal)Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, re-enter Iraq from Syria at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour, Dohuk province, August 10, 2014.

House Resolution-565 or the Save Christians from Genocide Act seeks to let the U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant expedited refugee visa processing to Christians and Yazidis from the Middle East because of humanitarian concerns.

A spokesperson for Rep. Bishop said the atrocities of the Islamic State against these religious minorities are real, so helping them is an urgent matter, The Oakland Press relays.

"The bill would declare these two minority groups as targets of genocide in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, and Libya. ISIS has risen to power and is engaged in genocide against those they deem unworthy – including Christians and Yazidis," Rep. Bishop's spokesman said of House Resolution-565. "It would also create an expedited processing of immigrant and refugee visas for these individuals."

The Save Christians from Genocide Act was introduced on Feb. 13 by U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California. The bill is set to be reviewed by the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.

In September last year, humanitarian group Roads of Success' vice president Jacqueline Isaac urged the U.S. to pass Save Christians from Genocide Act. During a UN convention in New York in April, she also expressed hope that the United Nations would declare ISIS' atrocities against Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East as genocide, Aleteia reports.

Despite the horrible experiences that the Christians and Yazidies endured at the hands of ISIS, their Christian faith remains strong. Isaac recalled how astonished she felt when she heard how one of the victims had told his wife before he died that she should teach their children about Jesus Christ if he does not make it back alive.