FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2019
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Inhumane Presidential Determination Banning Refugees is Signed
Historic low admissions goal will dismantle the life-saving refugee program and America’s legacy of welcome
New York City–Last night President Trump signed his discriminatory and cruel Fiscal Year 2020 refugee admissions goal that will cap admissions at 18,000 and limit arrivals based on category and country of origin. The signing of the presidential determination will now end the unprecedented moratorium on refugee arrivals that has blocked refugees from arriving in the United States since October 1st of this year. CWS President and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough issued the following statement:
“President Trump has ripped our country’s welcome mat out from under the most at-risk refugees in the world, people we have pledged to protect. The dire consequences of this refugee ban will last for years if not decades to come as the refugee resettlement program is dismantled and our nation’s legacy of compassion and welcome is finally snuffed out. Families who have waited years to be reunited have little hope of ever being together again. Refugee communities within the U.S. will lose their support systems as the infrastructure in place to support them disappears.
“While we are thankful that some refugees who have had their cases put on hold while we awaited this policy to be signed will now be able to arrive, the number of people who will find protection is tragically low and simply unacceptable. Thousands of lives are at stake. People of faith across the nation implore Congress to step in and block the destruction of the life-saving refugee resettlement program, and restore it to historic norms before it is too late.”
Since the passage of the 1980 Refugee Act, the United States has set an average admissions goal of 95,000 refugees annually. Since the beginning of the Trump administration, refugee admissions have been severely cut, 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. Congress should support the GRACE Act (S.1088 and H.R.2146), which would set a minimum refugee admissions goal at 95,000 and restore the resettlement program to historic norms.
For our previous statement on the announcement of the presidential determination click here.
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 GreaterAs1.org.