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Coalition of Immigrant Rights Groups Outraged Over Historically Low Refugee Resettlement Allotment


WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the Trump administration sent a report to Congress proposing a refugee admission cap of just 15,000 for fiscal year 2021. This historically low number is unprecedented during any presidential administration, undercutting the administration’s previous record low of 18,000 for fiscal year 2020. 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, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), Nicole Melaku stated, “NPNA is deeply concerned that this administration has set the proposed refugee admission at an all time low of 15,000 individuals for FY 2021. 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 xenphobic 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, 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.”