Background: We live in a time with an unprecedented 65 million people displaced around the world, including 22.5 million refugees – the highest number in recorded history. Estimates indicate that a person is displaced every 20 minutes. When global need is at its highest, the Trump administration has quickly reversed our nation’s long history 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 our back on the values of compassion and welcome we claim to represent. What’s worse, the administration is only on track to resettle 20,000 refugees this year, not even meeting their own goal.
By March 31st, the halfway point for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, the administration will have resettled less than 10,000 refugees. This amounts to a broken promise to tens of thousands of refugees who face the most rigorous selection, security vetting, and medical screening process of any traveler to the United States. Resettlement is reserved only for refugees who cannot return to their home countries or rebuild their lives in the country where they first fled. While families remain separated and refugees wait – at times in very unsafe conditions – the administration has imposed a series of refugee bans to dismantle the refugee resettlement program. We have a moral responsibility to speak out and lift up refugee stories and hold the administration accountable to fulfill its commitment to resettle at least 45,000 refugees this fiscal year. In addition, we are calling for the administration to set the admissions goal for FY19 for at least 75,000.