Washington, DC (September 15, 2017)- News reports this week claim that the US government is considering a huge shift in refugee resettlement policy by capping the number of admitted refugees at 50,000. This change in policy would have a widespread negative impact on current refugee communities within the US and on global perceptions of our country. Members of the American Relief Coalition for Syria from across the country are calling on the Trump administration to reject this historically low number and ensure at least 75,000 refugees will be admitted next year.
There are more than 22.5 million refugees worldwide. According to the UNHCR, more than half of refugees are children and less than one percent are resettled. Last year, just under 85,000 refugees were resettled in the US, with only around 12,500 originating from Syria. As American organizations, we are proud of our country’s long tradition of welcoming refugees. This bipartisan tradition of welcoming refugees is the most safe and secure pathways of immigration to the US, with the process usually lasting two years.
Capping refugee resettlement at less than 50,000 would be detrimental not only to the refugees waiting to be resettled, but also to the American communities who welcome them. There are over 350 communities and hundreds of civic, religious and volunteer groups across the US who have stood up to proclaim their support for refugees. This change in policy is deeply inconsistent with our American values and tradition of global leadership. We must continue to be a shining example of welcoming refugees for other countries to follow and welcome refugees.
ARCS is always willing to discuss the humanitarian and civilian impact of local, national, and international policies with administration officials and other decision makers. With our member organizations located across the country, ARCS is ready to offer insights regarding the consequences of new policies on local Syrian communities.