News & Resources

Press Release: IRAP Denounces Further Cuts to Refugee Admissions to Unprecedented Low

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                   

October 28, 2020


Henrike Dessaules


(New York, NY) – Today, President Trump released his Presidential Determination (PD) on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2021, which projects the number of refugees that the United States plans to admit this year. Once again, President Trump has set the ceiling at the historically lowest number of just 15,000, despite the fact that more refugees are in need of resettlement than ever before. 

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) sternly denounces this abdication of humanitarian leadership and warns that the new PD all but ensures that very few refugees will be able to find safety under these circumstances. Like last year’s PD, this one contains quotas for very limited categories of refugees based on perceived national interest, rather than geographic allocations that allow for the resettlement of refugees based on their vulnerability. 

Further, as last year’s statistics show, the PD quotas are unlikely to be fulfilled. For example, by the end of Fiscal Year 2020, only 161 U.S. affiliated Iraqis had been admitted, even though last year’s PD allowed for 4,000 Iraqi refugees. A recent IRAP report identified how extreme vetting restrictions make it nearly impossible for certain refugees, particularly those from predominantly Muslim countries, to be resettled in the United States.

“The Trump administration has nearly destroyed refugee resettlement in America,” said Sunil Varghese, IRAP’s Policy Director. “The new PD will slow the number of admitted refugees to a trickle, despite the fact that communities from all 50 states have spoken out in favor of resettlement. This is not only a huge loss for refugee families, but also for the localities that host them, and for America’s standing in the world.”

IRAP vows to keep fighting to ensure that vulnerable refugees continue to be able to reach safety, in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere.

To view the press release, click here.