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(Washington DC, September 18, 2018) –
Administration Sets Egregiously Low Refugee Admissions Goal – Smashing Previous Lows
Yesterday, State Department Director Mike Pompeo announced that the administration would seek to accept only 30,000 refugees to the United States in fiscal year 2019, a 33% drop from fiscal year 2018. Only Through US strongly condemns yet another precipitous drop in U.S. refugee admissions goals. Only Through US Executive Director Susannah Cunningham provides the following statement in response to the decision:
"It is no surprise that an administration that has been openly hostile and fear-mongering in their rhetoric about the world's most vulnerable people--refugee families displaced by war--would set refugee admissions goal to a new historic low. In a race to the bottom, the administration beats only their own historic record of poor leadership from last year's numbers--when they set the admissions goal to its previous record low of 45,000.
The last two years have been littered with near continuous revelations of public and private comments made by Trump administration officials against immigrants and refugees, particularly those of Muslim faith. Recent leaks have exposed the extent that this administration has suppressed its own intelligence agencies’ analysis and its own agencies’ recommendations that the refugee program supports our national security interests and U.S. diplomacy and should be sustained—on both moral and self-interested grounds.
The latest assault on the U.S. refugee program is produced from the same administration that corralled around an offensive anti-immigrant campaign manifesto, "The Flight 93 Election," and employed its author, Michael Anton, in the White House. It is befitting that they would stoop to new lows to further dismantle the U.S. refugee program, a powerful legacy of WWII.
The administration owes an apology not just to the tens of thousands of vulnerable refugee families who submitted in good faith biometric data, family histories, names, dates, and underwent security clearances from six separate U.S. intelligence units---only to see their resettlement applications for refuge and their families' hope for safety—stalled by the administration seeking to score political points. The administration also owes an immeasurable debt to the Iraqi families who worked to safeguard American Coalition Forces and American organizations in Iraq who are being denied safe haven in America. Lastly, it owes an apology to the thousands of faithful American congregations—Christian, Jewish, and Muslim--who have long dedicated themselves to welcoming refugee families and offering them generosity and kindness in their communities across the country. "