National Sign-On Letter to Congress
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, urge Congress to stop the Trump Administration from dismantling refugee resettlement in the United States.
Refugee resettlement has historically enjoyed strong bipartisan support because it reflects our shared values of welcoming those fleeing persecution. Past presidents have used refugee admissions to support those who seek liberty and reject ideologies antithetical to American values. Republican and Democrat administrations have raised refugee admissions for populations fleeing communist uprisings, religious persecution, and tyranny in countries like Vietnam, Cuba, the former Soviet Union, Kosovo, Myanmar, and Iran.
Today, 65 million people around the world are displaced, including 22.5 million refugees—the highest number in recorded history. Estimates indicate that a person is displaced every 20 minutes. However, when global need is at its highest, the Trump administration has quickly reversed our nation’s traditional role as a world leader in refugee protection and resettlement. The administration set an all-time low refugee admissions goal for fiscal year 2018 at 45,000, turning away from the values of compassion and welcome we claim to represent. What’s worse, the administration is on track to resettle only 20,000 refugees this year, representing an 80% reduction in the program.
These actions have dire consequences:
- The United States has lost its moral standing and its influence as a foreign policy leader;
- Refugees and their families have been stranded, separated, and scarred by current US policies, leaving many mid-process and more with little hope of anticipated US entry;
- The US Refugee Resettlement Program has been decimated, losing capacity, institutional memory, and experience; and
- Turning our backs on refugees feeds into our enemies' narrative and makes our nation less safe.
Congress has a critical role in holding the administration accountable. We must keep our commitment to tens of thousands of refugees still waiting to be resettled this year, as they have been promised. After more than 18 months of countless security checks and years of living in refugee camps, the administration needs to clear out the red tape that has been purposefully placed to slow down the system, and let these refugees be resettled now.
We implore you to stand for our shared American values and uphold our nation’s commitment to welcome, and protect those seeking freedom, safety and refuge in the United States.