On September 26, the Trump Administration announced its proposal to set the refugee admittance cap at 18,000 for Fiscal Year 2020 - a historic low. Though the President did consult with the leading members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and Immigration Subcommittees on October 15, he has not yet signed the Presidential Determination - the paperwork that officially sets the refugee admittance cap. Until the Presidential Determination is signed, no refugees can be resettled. This means that no refugees were resettled during October.
Refugees have become integral members of our communities, bringing skills and blessings with them. Without the option of resettlement, they face years in camps marked by instability, danger, and little hope for rebuilding their lives. At a time when more than 25.9 million refugees worldwide are fleeing persecution, war, or violence, the U.S. has already reduced its refugee admissions from its historic annual average of 95,000 to less than 30,000 for 2019.
Scripture reminds us that when we welcome the stranger in our midst, we are welcoming Christ among us. The Christian Reformed Church has long practiced this by working with and ministering among refugees for over 50 years. We hope to continue this tradition and fulfil the scriptural call to “love the stranger.”
Call committee leaders to ask them to urge President Trump to set the Presidential Determination immediately and support a return to the historic annual average of welcoming 95,000 refugees in 2020.
Image Credit: Flickr user Freedom House