September 27, 2019: The U.S. refugee admissions program has experienced a major blow. Join us and agencies across the nation in advocating for refugees.
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." The refugee program has long exemplified values our nation holds most sacred and dear. Since the Refugee Act was adopted in 1980, all presidential Administrations--both Republican and Democratic--had set annual admission ceilings of at least 67,000. Except for the current Administration.
Continuing its assault on refugees and immigrants, the Trump Administration just announced a record low admissions cap of just 18,000 refugees for next year. It is an exceedingly cruel decision at a time when 70.8 million people have been displaced worldwide, and 25.9 million of them are refugees forced out of their own countries.
In addition to denying humanitarian protections, the Administration's decision compromises U.S. strategic interests. It also deprives many U.S. communities of the opportunities for revitalization, cultural enrichment, and economic growth that come with refugee resettlement. According to Partnership for a New American Economy, "refugees help reverse population decline, start new businesses, create jobs, and boost tax revenues."
Our agency has seen refugee admissions' impact firsthand since it was launched as The Refugee Women's Program in 1982. "Since I've joined RIT in 2001, I've been privileged to meet so many compassionate and determined individuals who had come to the Bay Area through the U.S. refugee program," says Laura Vaudreuil, RIT's Executive Director. "So many have become trusted colleagues and friends."
We stand in solidarity with refugees around the world, and are ready to welcome them in our community.
By law, the Trump Administration must consult with Congress prior to setting the annual admissions goal.