Background: Heading into FY20, the future of the life-saving refugee resettlement program is at risk. The past two years the Trump administration has cut the resettlement program by an alarming 75%, setting the refugee admissions goal for this fiscal year (FY 2019) at 30,000 - the lowest in U.S. history. (The average goal for nearly the last four decades was 95,000).
Now, the administration is considering setting the admissions goal for FY20 at ZERO. It is critical that communities around the country are loud and strong in their support for the program to mount the political pressure needed to prevent further cuts or the functional shut down of U.S. refugee resettlement.
As people who care about refugees, we must make our voices heard and tell both the White House and Congress that drastic cuts to the refugee program would be harmful to our communities, violate our values, and put the lives of thousands of the most vulnerable at risk--including religious minorities, Iraqi allies, and victims of torture and gender-based violence. We must return refugee admissions to the average annual goal of 95,000 in FY20. The White House is required under U.S. law to consult with Congress prior to setting the annual refugee admissions number. This has not happened yet, which means Congress can and must weigh in today.
Here's an example of what to say: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and I urge you to protect the refugee resettlement program from being decimated by the administration. Right now, the administration is considering setting the refugee admissions goal for next year at ZERO. Congress is uniquely poised to hold the administration accountable to consult with Congress ahead of deciding how many refugees to welcome in FY20. Please do everything in your power to see that the administration commits to resettling 95,000 refugees in 2020. Resettlement is a core American legacy that allows refugees to rebuild their lives. My community welcomes refugees, and I urge you to reflect the best of our nation by supporting refugee resettlement."