News & Resources

Press Release: IRAP Decries Trump Administration’s New Restrictions on Refugee Resettlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     

October 24, 2017


Henrike Dessaules



(New York, NY) – Today, on the day of the expiration of the President’s temporary refugee ban, issued as part of the March 6 executive order, the Trump administration ordered new restrictions on refugees seeking safety in the United States. Under the newly announced rules for vetting refugees, the government would essentially halt processing for individuals from 11 countries that require special security checks already, and put on hold the refugee family reunification program. The new measures will mean indefinite limbo for thousands of the most vulnerable refugees.

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center strongly condemns this latest attempt by the President and his administration to severely curtail resettlement. Last month, the President set an unprecedentedly low refugee ceiling of merely 45,000, further reducing the incredibly low chances of refugees being resettled here, in the country that traditionally hosts the majority of resettled refugees.

IRAP’s Policy Director, Betsy Fisher, said: “The President is making life or death decisions for people who otherwise may have had a chance to resettle here, raise their families in safety, and become valued American citizens. Resettlement saves lives, enriches American communities, and bolsters our standing in the world as humanitarian leaders. Instead, the President has chosen to turn back the clock to America’s darker times, when we refused to extend a helping hand to those escaping persecution. These cruel policies will serve no one and harm many.”

Other reports suggest that additional security measures may be put in place by the administration, including the collection of even more data on refugees in the resettlement process, which would further delay an already rigorous and lengthy process that takes 18 to 24 months on average to complete.

In its announcement, the administration did not provide any reasons as to why these particular measures are needed or how they will improve security; IRAP condemns this backhanded effort to limit refugee resettlement even further than the historically low 45,000 refugee ceiling that the President set for this fiscal year.

We urge the administration to take every available step to facilitate expeditious refugee security screening, allowing vulnerable refugees to reach safety.

To view the press release, click here.

International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center