Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) applauds yesterday’s Ninth Circuit Court decision, to allow refugees who have a commitment to be received by a U.S. resettlement agency and family members, such as grandparents, to be exempt from the travel ban, while the legality of the ban remains under review.
With this ruling, the Court determined that the administration’s Executive Order, which suspended refugee resettlement and slashed the ceiling of refugees permitted to enter the country in this fiscal year, could not be applied to refugees who are in the final stages of processing and already have a formal commitment of sponsorship from a resettlement agency.
The decision gives hope to tens of thousands of refugees stranded abroad and to the resettlement agencies, volunteers, foster families, church groups, and many others who are waiting to welcome them to the United States.
In coming to this decision, the court recognized the significant work that resettlement agencies do in preparing for the arrival of refugees, including preparing housing, food, and other assistance. When refugees are not able to travel to the United States, it keeps them in places of danger and does not offer an opportunity for resettlement agencies to provide a measure of safety and protection.
RCUSA urges the government to respond quickly to this ruling and schedule travel for the refugees who are at the final stages of processing, preparing to rebuild their lives in the safety of this country.