On September 26th, the Trump administration simultaneously announced that it would cap refugee resettlement at 18,000 for 2020, and released a new executive order that allows state and local officials to block refugees approved for resettlement to the US from resettling within their communities. These decisions are unprecedented, unjust, and life-threatening for thousands of refugees who have no other opportunities for safety.
Since the resettlement program started in 1980, an average of 95,000 people per year have been resettled to the US. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to our total population and something our country could easily move toward. Reducing refugee admissions to 18,000 effectively dismantles the U.S. resettlement program. As a world leader, the US needs to step up in the face of the greatest refugee crisis of our time, not step backward.
RefugePoint began in 2005 with the mission of reaching overlooked and forgotten refugees and getting them to safety. Today, we work with UNHCR and governments around the world to resettle at-risk refugees, to the US as well as to Canada, Australia, and other countries.
There are almost 40,000 people who have already been approved for resettlement by the Department of Homeland Security officials. Many of these people are planning to reunite with their mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives. The proposal to reduce refugee admissions to 18,000 will keep many of these people apart and imperil the lives of thousands who may not have another chance for safety.
RefugePoint and other resettlement organizations continue to strongly urge that the U.S. offer safety and protection to at least 95,000 refugees for the coming fiscal year. We believe that the U.S. must continue its role as the global leader in offering protection to refugees, and we ask that Congress and the Administration recognize the grave impacts that this decision will have on vulnerable refugees around the world, including unaccompanied children, people with severe medical needs, and survivors of torture.