New York, NY – The Trump administration should increase the refugee ceiling for FY 2019 rather than reduce it to historically low levels for a second year in a row, according to Donald Kerwin, executive director of the Center for Migration Studies (CMS). Media reports indicate that the White House could reduce the number of admissions to as low as 15,000 beginning October 1st, down from an already historic low of 45,000 in FY 2018. Moreover, the administration is on a pace to bring in less than half of the 45,000 by the end of the fiscal year.
“The administration will not come close to meeting this year’s record low ceiling, leaving thousands of vulnerable refugees in danger and their families divided,” said Kerwin. “Further lowering admissions at a time of historically high numbers of forcibly displaced persons worldwide would represent yet another step in the United States’ abdication of its historic leadership role in refugee protection.”
The reduced commitment to refugee resettlement by the United States comes at a time when there are more than 25.4 million refugees worldwide, 68.5 million persons forcibly displaced from their homes, and major refugee crises in Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Venezuela, Myanmar, and other places. With the administration’s travel ban in place, the number of refugees from Muslim-majority countries fell by 90 percent in the first half of FY 2018.
Despite assertions that refugees are a threat to the nation, the US refugee program has successfully resettled more than 3 million refugees since 1975. According to a newly released CMS report, refugees successfully integrate by virtually every metric and they contribute significantly to local communities and to the nation’s economy.
“CMS’s research demonstrates that over time refugees in the United States compare favorably to the total US population in income, employment, education, and homeownership,” said Kerwin. “They revitalize the United States not only by their industry and entrepreneurship but also by their commitment to their families, to the nation that took them in, and to its core values.” The report, entitled “The U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program: A Return to First Principles: How Refugees Help to Define, Strengthen, and Revitalize the United States,” can be found at http://bit.ly/2O2ftNx.
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