CWS Decries Trump Administration’s Latest Attempt to Dismantle US Refugee Resettlement Program

October 24, 2017

Changes to vetting procedures will disrupt refugee resettlement, endanger those fleeing persecution, separate families.

Washington, D.C. – CWS joins our partners and communities of faith across the United States in decrying the White House’s announcement today regarding changes to the US refugee resettlement program. As a result of these changes, hundreds, possibly thousands of families that have gone through the exhaustive vetting process in good faith and were promised refuge in the United States will see their eligibility revoked and be exposed to even further danger. The disruption to the program will have severe long-term consequences.

CWS’ President and CEO, Rev. John McCullough said “today’s announcement makes the pattern undeniable. The Trump administration is seeking to dismantle the refugee resettlement program brick by brick, through any means necessary. This administration is not interested in pursuing our national interest, enhancing national security, upholding the legal frameworks that protect both us and our allies, much less our shared moral obligation to lead as a nation during the world’s largest displacement crisis. The arguments put forward to dismantle the refugee program are all just smoke screens in order to fulfill the Trump campaign’s bargain with white-supremacy.”

Refugees are the single most vetted class of people entering in the United States, with the Department of Defense, Department of State, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and National Counterterrorism Center all involved, and including in-person interviews with the Department of Homeland Security. The administration has been presented with facts and figures about their purported security and economic concerns at every stage of the process. But these arguments seem to have been either callously disregarded or, in the case of a report commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Service’s report that found refugees contribute $63 billion dollars to the economy, willfully suppressed.

The administration’s goals are as odious as their tactics: to completely disrupt and dismantle the refugee resettlement program brick by brick. Now that their first attempts have been blocked in part by the courts, they are trying to achieve the same result of halting all refugee resettlement through these new policy changes.

CWS and our faith-leader partners call on the United States government to restore its moral leadership in the world, especially as our partners on the ground see the worst humanitarian crisis since we were founded in 1946.

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. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at