STATEMENT

Center for Migration Studies’s Executive Director Decries Historically Low Refugee Ceiling Set by Trump Administration

September 20, 2018

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Center for Migration Studies’s Executive Director Decries Historically Low Refugee Ceiling Set by Trump Administration

Donald Kerwin, executive director of the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), today sharply criticized Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the United States would resettle at most 30,000 refugees in fiscal year (FY) 2019.

“The proposed resettlement ceiling for FY 2019 illustrates the administration’s hostility toward refugees fleeing terror and persecution in their home countries. The United States has built a strong reputation over decades as being a welcoming nation to the world’s oppressed. During this time, the US refugee program has saved millions of lives and served the nation’s foreign policy, humanitarian, and security interests.

The administration’s decision to reduce admissions to record-low levels at a time of historically high numbers of forcibly displaced persons will leave tens of thousands of refugees in grave danger, undermine our ability to influence other nations to contribute to refugee protection, diminish our global standing, and project values that are inimical to our best traditions.

I urge Congress to resist this low resettlement number and call upon the administration to reconsider its proposed admissions ceiling. The history of the US refugee program demonstrates that refugees are not a threat to our nation’s security and that they significantly contribute to our economy over time.”

CMS recently issued a report entitled, “The US Refugee Resettlement Program – A Return to First Principles:  How Refugees Help to Define, Strengthen, and Revitalize the United States.”  The study examines the integration and progress of 1.1 million refugees that arrived in the United States between 1987 and 2016. It shows that refugees become self-sufficient in a timely manner and strengthen the nation’s social fabric through their work, family, faith, and community commitments. The report can be found at http://cmsny.org/publications/jmhs-us-refugee-resettlement/.