New Deal for New Americans Act Would Ensure Return to Global, Moral Leadership on Refugee Resettlement

October 30, 2019

Washington, D.C. — Church World Service today applauded the introduction of new House legislation that would strengthen support for immigrants and refugees. The New Deal for New Americans Act would establish a National Office on New Americans; create federally-funded programs for English language learning and workforce development; restore U.S. leadership on refugee protection and resettlement; raise the refugee admissions to a minimum of 110,000 per year; remove obstacles to naturalization for immigrant communities; and build out robust immigration legal services programs for deportation defense and other needs. The legislation was introduced at a press conference on Capitol Hill at noon today by Representatives Meng (D-NY), Jayapal (D-WA), and Garcia (D-IL).

“The United States has a responsibility to welcome refugees, which means we must of course restore the U.S. refugee resettlement program, but also U.S. moral leadership in refugee protection. It also means we must facilitate family reunification and dedicate resources to ensure all immigrants have the opportunity to succeed,” said Church World Service President and CEO the Rev. John L. McCullough. “We have seen time and time again why welcoming refugees and immigrants is vital. The New Deal for New Americans affirms what we already know: immigrants and refugees grow our economies through their dedication and make us stronger through their resilience. Congress should pass this bill, and the United States would be greater for it.”

At today’s press conference, Members of Congress were joined by representatives of the immigration advocacy community who spoke to the importance of investing in proactive, workable, and humane solutions to support immigrants and refugees. The New Deal for New Americans Act is currently endorsed by 62 organizations, including Church World Service.

Since the passage of the 1980 Refugee Act, the United States has set an average admissions goal of 95,000 refugees annually. The Trump administration has severely cut refugee admissions, causing irreparable damage to refugee families, American communities and the infrastructure in place to welcome and support new arrivals. Across the country, hundreds of elected officials, congregations and business leaders have been showing their support for refugee resettlement.

For more information on today’s legislation or to speak with Church World Service, contact Christopher Plummer at

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty.