July 19, 2019 12:57 PM

Trump Administration Bans Asylum Seekers & Considers Zeroing Out Refugee Resettlement in Same Week 

WASHINGTON – Refuge For Families, a transnational initiative to address and develop a humane and unified movement responsive to the plight of migrants along the Central America-US corridor, condemns any further moves to decimate the refugee resettlement program, which has saved countless families over the years.

A week after denying asylum seekers the right to request protection at our Southern border if they do not apply for asylum in at least one country along their route to the United States,  the Trump Administration is hinting at completely shutting down the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program by setting the 2020 refugee admissions goal to zero, according to a story published yesterday in Politico. 

The potential cut comes after a 75 percent reduction in the number of refugees allowed into the country this year. The historic average goal over the last four decades was 95,000, but Trump has already cut admissions to 30,000. 

"As people who care about refugees - abroad and at our doorstep - we must make our voices heard," said Stephanie Stephens, of We Are All America. "Zeroing out refugee resettlement would amount to a full refugee ban, and the infrastructure of resettlement in the U.S. would completely collapse. This has long-term and serious consequences for refugees, the communities that welcome them, and for U.S. foreign policy."

The refugee ban is one more way this administration is destroying the refugee and asylum process with little regard to the reasons why people flee or seek refuge.

"Until we address the root causes of why people are fleeing their home countries, people will continue to migrate to places that are safer. We need to have a system to protect those who seek refuge if we want to lay claim to being a champion of human rights and democracy," Oscar Chacón from Alianza Américas. "People in some Central American countries have nowhere else to turn. We should be the ones they turn to in order to seek humanitarian protection."

"As a nation, we should be honoring our values of life and liberty as the world’s greatest democracy and help to integrate immigrants and refugees into the civic society," said Josh Hoyt of the National Partnership for New Americans. "Instead, this administration has consistently worked on adding roadblocks for eligible residents to receive their citizenship."

Refugee and migrant rights activists are calling for Congress to step in to do everything in their power to stop the attacks on refugees and asylum seekers.

“We have a long history of welcoming those who are seeking safety and refuge from dangerous conditions in their home countries—and we are working tirelessly to fight back against any attempt that threatens our values that make us a welcoming nation,” said Sulma Arias of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM). “Every day, our communities come together to build a nation that honors the dignity and humanity of refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers. Even through the darkest moments, it’s our resilience and commitment to staying united that keeps our hope alive.” 

Refuge for Families coalition partner We Are All America and its allies are having a National Day of Outrage Aug 3. For more information visit WeAreAllUSA.org.

Refuge for Families, led by the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Alianza Americas and We Are All America, We has worked to uplift and educate the public on the underlying causes of migration in the region and supports accountable, citizen-led foreign policy strategies addressing the causes of exodus along the Central America-US corridor.