The Trump administration has set the refugee admissions goal for next fiscal year at 30,000 – the lowest level in U.S. history. Last year, the administration set a historically low refugee admissions goal at 45,000 in FY 2018 – in the face of the worst refugee crisis in global history. For nearly four decades, the average refugee admissions goal has been 95,000. Today, there are more than 25 million refugees worldwide — more than half of whom are children. Refugees are more than just a global figure; they are families torn apart, children who have witnessed profound violence, and people seeking a chance to rebuild their lives and raise a family in safety. Protecting vulnerable populations is not a zero-sum game; we can and should protect refugees and others fleeing violence or persecution. Refugee resettlement facilitates U.S. diplomatic, national security, and foreign policy interests.
As people who care about refugees, we must make our voices heard and tell both the White House and Congress that 30,000 is inexcusable and that we must set a refugee admissions goal of at least 75,000. The White House is required under U.S. law to consult with Congress prior to setting the annual refugee admissions number. This has not happened yet, which means Congress can and must weigh in today.