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NPNA Condemns Historically Low Refugee Resettlement Allotment for FY2021

National coalition calls on our elected officials to live up to our nation’s values of refuge and welcoming


WASHINGTON – Today, the Trump administration signed a Presidential Determination slashing refugee admissions to the United States to just 15,000 individuals for Fiscal Year 2021. This historically low number is unprecedented during any presidential administration, even undercutting the Trump administration’s previous record low of 18,000 for FY2020. To date, the Trump administration has failed to meet its own goal, having only admitted approximately half of the 18,000 people allotted.

In response to the announcement, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), Nicole Melaku stated, “NPNA is deeply concerned by the all-time low refugee admission cap of 15,000 individuals for FY2021 announced by the Trump administration today. We join our colleagues in the resettlement and refugee advocacy community in sharing our extreme disappointment with our government’s callousness in turning away thousands of families facing persecution and harm across the world. We are outraged by this administration’s open endorsement of Stephen Miller’s hateful and xenophobic agenda to gut our refugee resettlement program, dismantle the asylum process, and conflate the issue of global migration with national security.”

Basma Alawee, a former refugee and current organizer with the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), an NPNA member organization, stated, “While the administration continues to put up barriers and postpone refugee admissions, over 70 million displaced people globally are experiencing unthinkable suffering and hardship that has only been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Their struggles vary and include food and housing insecurity; homelessness; lack of access to adequate health care and employment; fear of deportation or loss of legal protection; and more. These are families that are constantly living in a state of limbo with no clear path for their futures. We cannot leave refugees and other marginalized groups behind as we work together to fight against the pandemic — it is both cruel and foolish.”

Kayse Jama, executive director of Unite Oregon, an NPNA member organization, said, “This is not a refugee admissions goal. Clearly the real goal here is to continue dismantling the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program. We know this does not represent the majority sentiment of the American public, as evidenced by state and local officials across the country pushing back on Trump’s executive order last year, from red and blue states alike. As a former refugee from Somalia who is now a proud U.S. citizen, I know we are a nation of refuge and opportunity. Let us work together to preserve these values.”

Nejra Sumic, a former refugee and current We Are All America organizer in Arizona, added, “As a former refugee from Bosnia, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have resettled in the United States. It is because of this opportunity that I have strived to give back to my community and this country as a sense of pride, resilience, and gratitude. It is disheartening that during one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises, the current administration is choosing to shut its doors to those in the most vulnerable situations who are seeking a new opportunity in life for themselves and their families. This country was built on the backs of immigrants, and has a standing tradition of offering refuge to those fleeing persecution. In the midst of a global pandemic, it is even more critical that we continue to stand by these values.”