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Overall refugee admissions at the lowest level in US history

By Oxfam
Syrian refugees speak with Oxfam staff at a refugee camp in Greece Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

The number of refugees around the world is at its highest since World War II—but the US admits less than one percent.

There are currently more refugees, asylum seekers, and others fleeing conflict and violence around the world than ever before. But the Trump Administration continues its unprecedented assaults on America's legacy of supporting people fleeing persecution in search of safety and a better life for themselves and their families. As a result of these heartless and discriminatory policies, thousands of people in need of safe haven in the US have already been turned away and refugee admissions are at the lowest level in US history. The US has resettled a paltry 13 Syrian refugees in 2018.

Now, the administration has nominated anti-immigration extremist Ronald Mortensen to lead the State Department bureau in charge of refugee protection, the Bureau of Population, Migration, and Refugees.

“Ronald Mortensen’s nomination is a slap in the face to America’s proud and long-standing tradition of welcoming the world’s most vulnerable people. America’s top humanitarian diplomat must reflect our spirit of compassion and partnership; Mortensen simply does not,” said Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam America Humanitarian Policy Lead.

The discriminatory, anti-Muslim, and anti-refugee sentiment of the Trump Administration is clear. The US admits a tiny fraction of the world’s refugees – less than one percent. At a time of unprecedented global displacement, the US is on track to resettle just 25,000 refugees this fiscal year – just half of President Trump's historically low admissions ceiling. Over the past year, the administration has implemented new vetting procedures and endless bureaucratic hurdles that have undermined the resettlement process, affecting tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees. Muslim refugees have been particularly impacted, with 90 percent fewer admitted this year than in the past year.

“The refugee resettlement program is one of America’s greatest symbols of solidarity and compassion. It has enjoyed bipartisan support for decades, through both Republican and Democratic administrations. But over the past two years, however, the Trump Administration has waged an all-out assault on this institution. World Refugee Day is an important day to defend our legacy of providing a lifeline to so many of the world’s most vulnerable people,” Gottschalk said.

In this unprecedented global displacement crisis, Oxfam is working with families who have been forced to flee their homes every step of the way. We provide humanitarian support to refugees around the world, while also calling on the US government and fellow Americans to open our hearts, minds, and borders to refugees.

Today Oxfam is also releasing Migration 101, a primer on some the various forms of protection for those seeking safety in the US, including refugees, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and DACA recipients. The document serves as a useful tool for those seeking to understand the US refugee resettlement program, challenges misinformation about refugees, and outlines the steps the US should take to protect the world’s most vulnerable people.


Stop President Trump’s anti-immigrant nomination.

Call your Senators now to tell them you oppose the nomination of Ronald Mortensen

Call: 1-855-637-2383

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