The International Rescue Committee (IRC) today registers its concern with the anticipated vetting procedures for refugees urgently seeking safety and stability in the United States.

With an announcement dated to the expiration of the misguided 120-Day Refugee Travel Ban – and coming on the heels of the cruel cancellation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee program – The IRC remains acutely alert to, and cautious of, the intent of any efforts which will inherently slow the U.S. resettlement program.

The IRC does welcome an end to the refugee-focused portion of this Administration’s Travel Ban, which has had its own dire impacts: backlogging urgent resettlement cases by over a year, when considering the Administration’s low and incommensurate FY18 Presidential Determination

Said Jennifer Sime, Senior Vice President, U.S. Programs, International Rescue Committee –

“The IRC is an organization that supports thorough and common-sense vetting of refugees, but the backdrop with which these vetting measures are being announced – the end of a misguided Travel Ban, a low Presidential Determination, and dismantling of DACA and CAM AOR – keeps us extremely alert to arbitrary obstacles placed in front of the most vulnerable populations on the planet.

“While we have yet to see the long-term Resettlement Program impacts, what is more urgent and known is the human impact: this will add months, or potentially years, to the most urgent cases – the majority of which are women and children in heinous circumstances who need the permanent and proven solution of resettlement. With a world facing brutal and protracted conflicts like in Syria, or new levels of displacement and unimaginable violence against the Rohingya – this moment is a test of the world’s humanity, moral leadership, and ability to learn from the horrors of the past.

“With a myriad of actions against refugees and immigrants – and a demonstrated inclination to erect any obstacle possible – this Administration provokes apprehension when regularly electing for withdrawal, over decency and resolve.”

At this very moment, the world is witnessing people fleeing Myanmar violence and persecution at a rate not seen since Rwanda. Inaction and abdication of moral responsibility and global leadership will ultimately be judged harshly by history. 

The IRC pledges to remain vigilant in ensuring the Administration remains accountable to the low bar it has set in the Refugee Cap, and vocal in defending U.S. resettlement which exists to save lives, reunite families, safeguard acutely vulnerable women and children, and set a moral standard for a world in crisis.