NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 17, 2018 – Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Presidential Determination for refugee admissions for the upcoming fiscal year. The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center strongly condemns his proposal, which further reduces last year’s resettlement quota – already a historical low – to merely 30,000. The President has broken his own record in diminishing avenues to safety for the world’s most vulnerable refugees.
IRAP strongly denounces this radical move to abandon American leadership in refugee resettlement, which remains the only option to reach safety for many refugees in life-threatening circumstances, including children with medical emergencies, U.S. wartime allies, and survivors of torture. This short-sighted policy will have devastating consequences for many years to come.
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Betsy Fisher, IRAP’s Policy Director, said: “For 2018, the President set the refugee quota to 45,000, but less than half were actually resettled. Now the President is again reducing that number by a shocking amount. This decision is not informed by the global need, nor by America’s national security and foreign policy priorities. And it will not only harm refugees, whose lives are at risk, but also America’s interests abroad and at home.”
The current Administration has attacked refugee resettlement on all fronts, starting with the first Muslim ban executive order, and extending to heightened security restrictions for nationals of certain countries, the termination of the Central American Minors program, and the unprecedented mass denials of Iranian refugees from religious minorities.