Every year the administration decides the cap on how many refugees can be admitted to the United States. The Trump administration announced that only 18,000 refugees can be resettled in Fiscal Year 2020. Because the President must first consult with Congress on this declaration, the number won’t go into effect until such a meeting happens. Because the 2019 Fiscal Year has already ended, this means that refugee resettlement will not go on -- at all -- until this meeting takes place.
This is effectively a shut-down of the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Unless measures are taken to reinvigorate the program, it will mean the end of the United States’ decades-long commitment to extending hospitality and a safe haven to those fleeing violence and persecution worldwide.
Refugees have become integral members of our communities, bringing skills and blessings with them. Refugee resettlement is life-saving program that protects and shelters some of most vulnerable neighbors who are fleeing persecution for their political or religious beliefs, ethnicity, or nationality. In the midst of the largest refugee crisis in modern history, it is critical that the United States continues to demonstrate strong leadership on resettlement and maintain a robust refugee resettlement program. Without resettlement, refugees can spend years in camps marked by instability, danger, and little hope for rebuilding their lives. And without a program that welcomes them, the U.S. stands to lose an important piece of what it means to be American.
Scripture reminds us that when we welcome the stranger in our midst, we are welcoming Christ among us. As fellow image bearers, we both know that God commands us to care for our vulnerable neighbors and that refugees in turn will bless our communities.
Ask Congress and the Trump Administration to protect refugee resettlement, oppose drastic cuts, and ensure it happens quickly.
Read a backgrounder or return to the Office of Social Justice website.