New York, NY, July 18, 2019 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds this evening to reports of a refugee admissions goal of zero in Fiscal Year 2020.
Hans Van de Weerd, Vice President, Resettlement, Asylum and Integration at the International Rescue Committee said --
“Reports tonight that the U.S. considers admitting no refugees in 2020 will shock the conscience of millions of Americans. If confirmed, this decision is catastrophic for some of the most vulnerable people for whom resettlement is a life-saving last resort.
“An admissions goal of zero would be another low in a global race to the bottom led by an Administration that has introduced travel bans, illegal asylum procedures, family separations, child detention, and is now proposing to abandon a rich American tradition of providing safety and opportunity. These policies have caused unspeakable suffering for people most in need of protection.
“As we speak, IRC teams are working fearlessly around the world to ease suffering and ensure a more decent world - in Syria, in Yemen, in El Salvador, along the US border and elsewhere. Through their work, we see firsthand the very real issues that are causing a record-breaking number of people to flee their homes in search of safety.
“While the White House is abdicating America’s legacy as a safe haven for persecuted people, Congress is stepping up. The GRACE Act would ensure America does its part for the world’s most vulnerable refugees no matter who is president. These efforts give us hope.
“Refugees and immigrants define America. The US refugee admissions program is a humanitarian success story that saves lives and makes our communities stronger. Ending refugee resettlement would irreparably harm America’s credibility and influence in the global pursuit of human dignity, peace and stability. It is imperative that the United States avoids this grave error."
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.