Advocacy / 10.28.20

RCUSA Responds to Staggeringly Low Presidential Determination for 2021

Washington, DC — Today, President Trump officially set the refugee admissions goal for 2021 at the staggeringly low number of 15,000.

For four consecutive years Trump has set new, historically low refugee admissions goals. This past year, the US failed to meet the then-lowest refugee admissions goal of welcoming 18,000 refugees, instead resettling only 11,814. This is a drastic departure from historic norms where the average refugee admissions goal was 95,000.

“Make no mistake, the Trump administration has no intention of meeting even this devastatingly low refugee admissions goal,” said Adam Hunter, Executive Director of RCUSA. “Between the narrowed admissions categories and limits on overseas processing, it will be nearly impossible for the government to make good on this limited promise of welcome. Today’s announcement makes clear the Administration does not administer the program in good faith.”

The United States has long been a beacon of hope, safety and freedom around the world. Providing refuge in the US facilitates global cooperation and encourages other countries to keep their doors open to refugees, which helps to stabilize potentially volatile regions of the world.

Despite the administration’s continued efforts to dismantle the US refugee admissions program, communities have affirmed, repeatedly, that the US must live up to its values of welcome and protection, demanding the meaningful continuation of the program. In recent weeks 183 organizations, 540 state and local elected officials, and over 600 faith leaders and faith-based groups demanded that the program be restored to its historic norms.

People across the US recognize how refugees strengthen our communities, as neighbors, small business owners, medical professionals, grocery clerks and volunteers. The fact that the United States has been a leader in resettling refugees strengthens our national security and moral leadership in the world.

RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach common refugee-related issues identically.

Media Contact: Sarah Seniuk, sseniuk@rcusa.org