BALTIMORE, Md. – Today, POLITICO reported that the Trump administration is considering zeroing out the number of refugees resettled in 2020. World Relief strongly condemns this proposal.
“The U.S. refugee resettlement and placement program is the crown jewel of America’s humanitarian program,” commented World Relief President Scott Arbeiter. “The world’s need is clear: With over 70 million displaced persons, including over 25 million refugees, we are in the middle of the worst refugee crisis in recorded history. Our national commitment to welcoming refugees goes back at least to the era of World War II, when Jewish men, women and children displaced by the Nazis often had no safe place to which to flee. In the years that followed, the U.S. committed itself to protecting those forced to flee persecution, offering safety and religious freedom to some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees, who have become grateful Americans – and who give back to this country many times over. We must not abandon this stabilizing role or those in desperate situations and in need of a safe haven.”
The historic norm for refugee resettlement as set by the annual Presidential Determination (PD) averages between 75,000-95,000. The current PD of 30,000 is abhorrently low, and it does not reflect either America’s commitment or ability to meet the global need through its current infrastructure of refugee resettlement agencies. World Relief is asking the administration to welcome 95,000 refugees in FY2020 which would be more in line with an appropriate global response to the refugee crisis.
“The president has promised again and again to protect persecuted Christians, and refugee resettlement is an essential tool to achieve that end,” said World Relief CEO Tim Breene, noting that the number of persecuted Christians being resettled to the U.S. has declined dramatically in recent years, and now could be reduced to zero. “Americans of faith should recognize and respond to this assault on our call to protect the ‘least of these’ – especially as a country where most citizens profess to be Christians. The United States used to be a leader in refugee resettlement but has fallen behind Canada, for example, which has a ninth of our population, in resettling refugees. We at World Relief pledge to continue to stand with refugees.”
While reports that the president is considering a PD as low as zero are credible, the final decision is usually not made until shortly before the beginning of the federal Fiscal Year on October 1, and there is still time for Americans to make their voices heard. World Relief is challenging those who care for refugees to speak out now, insisting to our elected officials that they not end this life-saving program.
About World Relief:
World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization that seeks to overcome violence, poverty and injustice. Through love in action, we bring hope, healing and restoration to millions of the world’s most vulnerable women, men and children through vital and sustainable programs in disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding, as well as refugee and immigration services in the U.S. For 75 years, we’ve partnered with churches and communities, currently across more than 20 countries, to provide relief from suffering and help people rebuild their lives. Arrive Ministries is World Relief’s local affiliate, resettling refugees in Minnesota.