Last night, the Trump administration slashed the number of refugees we will welcome to no more than 30,000, the lowest in the history of the program. This immoral decision comes at time when we’re facing unprecedented global displacement - 25.4 million refugees are in need of protection around the world--the highest number in recorded history. Tens of thousands of lives are at risk and families are waiting to be reunited.
The refugee resettlement program represents our nation's highest ideals and slashing the program threatens our global reputation. Despite this, the White House failed to consult with Congress, as required by law, to set the annual refugee admissions number. But, Congress can still weigh in and urge the administration to welcome at least 75,000 refugees.
The latest dramatic cut follows the Trump administration's historic low of 45,0000 refugee arrivals for the 2018 fiscal year. Even with the refugee ceiling set so low, we're only on track to resettle a little more than 20,000 refugees by October 1st. Under previous administrations, the average number of arrivals was around 95,000 per year. When the Trump administration lowered the resettlement numbers last year, one of Nashville's resettlement agencies, World Relief, was forced to close their doors after 30 years. The latest cuts mean another agency may close, decimating the infrastructure to welcome refugees and help them integrate. It will take decades to rebuild our refugee resettlement program and restore our nation's reputation.