New York, NY, September 11, 2020 — The International Rescue Committee is deeply alarmed at reports that the Trump administration is considering postponing refugee admissions in the forthcoming fiscal year, citing the injunction in place against President Trump’s Executive Order attempting to enact a state-by-state refugee ban.
In court and in the court of public opinion, Americans have expressed their support for refugee admissions. Despite the Administration’s attempts to enact state-specific refugee bans, 46 US states expressed both support for resettlement and for a greater national refugee cap. This is in line with polling data which states that 73 percent of Americans support taking in refugees escaping war and violence. Refugees also continue to be an essential part of local communities’ response to COVID-19 with refugees and migrants making up 1 in 4 doctors in the US, now contributing to the fight at the front lines against COVID, and 1 in 5 workers supporting everything from farms to manufacturers, to foodservice and restaurants.
The IRC strongly urges the Trump administration to set an admissions goal for FY21 on time, on the basis of need and in line with historic norms and commitments that the Administration has made to vulnerable populations, averaging 95,000 refugees per year across Republican and Democratic administrations.
Hans Van de Weerd, the Vice President of Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration at the International Rescue Committee said:
“It is deeply troubling to hear reports that the Trump administration is considering postponing resettlement during the largest refugee crisis in history. The White House is also reneging on its promises to protect those fleeing religious and political persecution, such as refugees from Hong Kong or our allies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The evidence speaks for itself: local communities support refugee resettlement and understand the importance, and contribution provided to the United States, of providing safe haven to refugees escaping conflict, persecution, and disaster.
"If the Administration does not set a refugee admissions level by September 30, thousands of refugees will have their lives disrupted again, this time not by crisis, but by needless delays. The refugee admissions goal must be visionary, a reflection of a bipartisan legacy of global solidarity with refugees and of increasing global need. Our communities are ready to welcome, resettlement agencies are ready to help build strong bonds in the community, and our state & local governments are ready to facilitate resettlement.”
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 over 20 U.S. cities 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.