CWS Denounces Trump Administration’s Unwillingness to Meet Its Refugee Resettlement Goal

April 1, 2019


CONTACT: | 202.733.5151


CWS Denounces Trump Administration’s Unwillingness to Meet Its Refugee Resettlement Goal

Halfway through the fiscal year, refugee admissions lag far behind where they should be

Washington, D.C. – Church World Service today denounced the administration for failing to keep pace with its own fiscal year 2019 refugee admissions goal. As March 31st, 2019 marked the halfway point of the government’s fiscal year, the administration has admitted only 12,151 refugees, 40.5% of its historically low goal of resettling 30,000 refugees. The organization warns that unless the administration takes action to rapidly increase admissions and robustly process refugee cases for the year ahead, the U.S. will only admit 24,302 refugees this year. Comparatively, since the resettlement program began in 1980, the United States has set an average annual goal of admitting 95,000 refugees.

CWS President and CEO, Rev. John L. McCullough, issued the following statement:

“Since President Trump took office, the broadly-supported, life-saving refugee resettlement program has been slashed by an alarming 75 percent. The refugee admissions numbers halfway into this fiscal year show how cut by cut, the administration is destroying America’s ability to respond to global humanitarian crises and protect the persecuted. The damage caused to refugee families, American communities, and our nation’s standing in the world can not be understated.

“Each resettlement number not met is another mother, father, son or daughter left waiting in limbo in a refugee camp, separated from her family, or living in fear without hope for the future. No one chooses to be a refugee, but we can choose to help. Americans across the country, including millions of people of faith, stand ready to welcome refugee families and help them rebuild their lives.

“We call on President Trump to guarantee that every single one of the 30,000 vulnerable individuals meant to resettle to the United States makes it here this fiscal year. We urge Members of Congress to hold the administration accountable to resettling no fewer than 30,000 refugees in FY 2019 and to rebuilding the resettlement program by setting an admissions goal for at least 75,000 for FY 2020.”

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