RCUSA Comments on the Implementation of Administration’s Refugee Veto Executive Order

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Refugee Council USA sent a letter to officials with the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security in response to the implementation of Executive Order 13888. The order, issued on September 26, 2019 allows for states and localities to block refugee resettlement. Implementation has been disjointed at best, and threatens the very structures that facilitate successful refugee resettlement.

In this letter, RCUSA asks that the aforementioned agencies “suspend implementation of the EO until they have engaged meaningfully in developing clear implementation procedures informed by public comments,…Failure to do so risks damaging inter-agency and community relationships, losing essential resettlement infrastructure, and ultimately putting refugees’ wellbeing at risk.”

This EO and its implementation will have significant impacts on the safety and security of refugees.

“We know that when we admit fewer refugees or disrupt the admission process, the lives of those seeking safety are made more precarious, and families remain separated. This EO represents a new kind of annual disruption, with potentially long-lasting, detrimental effects on the ability of the US to efficiently and successfully welcome refugees.” 

The order is currently being challenged in court by Church World Service, HIAS, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, who filed a complaint stating that the EO violates federal law. The first hearing will take place on January 8, 2020.


Media Contact: Sarah Seniuk sseniuk@rcusa.org