Statement on the Decision to Drastically Reduce Refugee Admissions

Photo by Shahab Naseri

Statement on the Decision to Drastically Reduce Refugee Admissions

The Trump Administration has proposed setting the ceiling for the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) at 18,000 in Fiscal Year 2020. This represents the lowest number of vetted refugees admitted since the program began in 1980 and a precipitous decline in U.S. leadership in providing safety to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

InterAction—an alliance of nearly 200 U.S.-based organizations working overseas to combat extreme poverty and assist disaster-affected people—is disappointed and dismayed by the decision to further slash the number of refugees who will be admitted. The program not only represents a lifeline to refugees themselves but a critical tool in encouraging frontline countries outside the U.S. hosting refugees to keep their borders open to those fleeing war and oppression.

The U.S. has welcomed an average of 95,000 refugees a year and resettled over three million refugees over the past four decades. The program enjoys wide bipartisan support and has enriched U.S. society as refugees have integrated, started businesses, and become new Americans.

InterAction’s CEO, Sam Worthington responded:

“Slashing the resettlement program by another 40% is the exact opposite of what the U.S. should do as the number of people displaced by conflict worldwide rises to its highest recorded point. The proposed admissions ceiling is so low it essentially slams the door shut on the world’s most vulnerable people.

 It also represents a sad milestone in our country’s abdication of leadership in providing safe harbor to people whose lives have been shattered by conflict and persecution. The U.S. refugee resettlement program is something all Americans should be proud of and fight to preserve.”

InterAction Members Respond