FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 18, 2019
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CWS Responds with Outrage to Reports that Administration Officials have Proposed Ending Refugee Resettlement
News Signals Intent to Ban All Refugees from the United States
Washington, D.C. – Church World Service expressed outrage over news reported in Politico Pro indicating that some Trump administration officials have proposed that no refugees be admitted in Fiscal Year 2020. Since taking office, the Trump administration has already reduced refugee admissions by 75%. To zero the program out completely would be devastating to thousands of refugees who have already been approved to resettle and would destroy the U.S.’s standing on the global stage.
This news comes following the administration’s most recent announcement banning access to asylum protection for most asylum seekers who have traveled through another country en route to the United States.
CWS President and CEO, Rev. John L. McCullough, issued the following statement:
“Today’s news should stoke outrage and sorrow in the hearts of all Americans – all whose foremothers and forefathers came here from another land. If we are no longer a nation that provides refuge to the most vulnerable, then America as the shining city on a hill has lost much of its luster.
“Shutting down the resettlement program would be unfathomably cruel and dangerous. It would harm U.S. national security, foreign policy, local economies, and our global standing. We will have failed in our promise to protect the most at-risk refugees including religious minorities and Iraqis who served alongside our military and others.
“Congress must do its constitutional duty and demand that the U.S. once again be a beacon of hope for refugees. We urge the administration to set a refugee admissions goal of 95,000, the historic average since the program’s inception. Zeroing out the program is an affront to the countless American communities that have welcomed refugees and the refugees who are valuable members of their cities and towns. Faith communities are distraught, as we are taught to welcome the stranger. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).
“We pray that Congress will hold the administration accountable to doing what is right and just: ensure this program remains standing for years to come.”
Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org.