President Trump sets refugee admissions at lowest level in history of resettlement program


We cannot slam the door on refugees

President Trump has set the yearly refugee admissions ceiling at 45,000—the lowest level in the history of the refugee resettlement program. This historically low number is a rejection of our common humanity and adds insult to injury for persecuted people around the world who look to the United States as a beacon of hope. 

“Oxfam condemns President Trump’s decision, in the midst of the worst refugee crisis of our time, to slash refugee admissions for the coming year to just 45,000, a fraction of what the United States is capable of resettling,” said Abby Maxman, President of Oxfam America. “This new limit is unacceptable and we urge the President to go back and try again to set an acceptable limit of at least 75,000 refugees. Anything less represents a failure of American leadership and is an insult to the world’s most vulnerable people.”

The new limit marks a dramatic and devastating reduction for target refugee admissions. Since the program began in 1980, Presidents from both parties have set more robust targets, the average being 95,000. Yet with this announcement, President Trump turned his back on this bipartisan tradition, nearly halving that number. Even more worrisome is the fact that President Trump may not even meet this disastrously low target given the fact that the administration has dramatically slowed its refugee admissions processing since coming into office.

There are currently 22 million refugees, 1.2 million of whom need to be resettled into countries around the world in the next year. As Americans we must open our minds, hearts, and borders to vulnerable people. A cornerstone of the founding values of the US was to offer oppressed people refuge from violence and persecution. To forsake our founding values and these vulnerable people, would be to forsake what it means to be American.

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