In reaction to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the United States will admit no more than 30,000 refugees in the coming twelve months, down from the current cap of 45,000, Oxfam America’s Refugee Campaign Lead, Isra Chaker, made the following statement:
“By shunning vulnerable people fleeing horrendous violence and persecution, our government is shunning our American values.
“If Secretary Pompeo really wants his agency to be ‘the Department of Swagger,’ he should put a halt to his slash and burn attack on refugee admissions, a fundamental aspect of US foreign policy.
“At a time when the number of refugees around the world has reached a historic high of more than 25 million, it is reprehensible to see our government setting our refugee ceiling at a historic low.
“Sadly, today’s announcement does not come as a surprise given this administration’s outright hostility to refugees and immigrants. From the Muslim Ban to historic cuts to the refugee program, thousands of people in need of safe haven have been needlessly turned away because of this administration’s cruel and heartless policies. In fact, with only two weeks remaining in the fiscal year, the administration has failed to reach even half of its current refugee quota of 45,000, with just under than 21,000 refugees resettled to date.
“There is no plausible reason to turn our back on the world’s most vulnerable people. The US refugee resettlement program is already the world’s most stringent, offering safety and opportunity to millions of people in need from around the world who have gone on to revitalize and contribute to the communities in which they are living.
“We cannot allow this immoral and indefensible policy to go unchallenged. With so much going on in the world and here at home, the administration is counting on our complacency to enact its xenophobic agenda, which is why we must not recede into silence and indifference. We must stand up for refugees and for our American values.”