FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2017
IRAP STRONGLY CONDEMNS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S DECISION TO DRASTICALLY REDUCE REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT
FISHER: “It’s hard to comprehend why the administration would move to limit resettlement, when the need is greater than ever. We are abandoning desperate people in life-or-death situations, including children with medical emergencies, U.S. wartime allies, and survivors of torture.”
New York, NY – Today, the President issued his recommendations for refugee resettlement as outlined in the Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2018 Report to the Congress. The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center strongly condemns his proposal, which suggests an almost 60 percent decrease of available resettlement places from last year’s ceiling. The new admissions ceiling of 45,000 is the lowest set by a President in over three decades.
IRAP is extremely concerned about this abdication in humanitarian leadership from the United States, at a time when the world is witnessing the highest number of refugees since World War II. Thousands of refugees in life-threatening circumstances will lose their chance at being resettled to safety.
“Resettlement is only an option in the most urgent refugee cases,” said Betsy Fisher, IRAP’s Policy Director. “It’s hard to comprehend why the administration would move to limit resettlement, when the need is greater than ever. We are abandoning desperate people in life-or-death situations, including children with medical emergencies, U.S. wartime allies, and survivors of torture.”
The President previously moved to curb refugee resettlement in his travel and refugee ban executive order, citing national security concerns. But refugees in the United States Refugee Admissions Program are extensively vetted and interviewed, a process which often takes years to complete. Moreover, several studies have shown that refugees benefit the United States economically.
The Administration also signaled its intention to phase out the Central American Minors program, which allows children to reunite with guardians with legal status in the United States. This, too, is self-defeating, as the program promotes safe and legal pathways for family reunification.
IRAP urges the President to utilize his authority to increase refugee admissions and to restore America’s status as a beacon of hope for the world’s most persecuted.
To view the press release, click here.
International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center