The United States appears it will abandon its role as a ‘safe haven’ for persecuted refugees from around the world; something the country has been known for throughout history.
On Thursday, the Trump administration announced it will slash the number of refugees coming into the United States to a measly total of 18,000, down from the 30,000 we welcomed last year and a mere “fraction of the 110,000 President Barack Obama said should be allowed into the United States in 2016, his final year in office.”
The Trump administration will focus on prioritizing refugees escaping religious persecution and accepting Iraqis who helped the U.S. overseas, and ‘legitimate refugees’ from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Trump also issued an Executive Order “instructing the federal government to resettle refugees only in jurisdictions where state and local governments have consented to receive those refugees, with ‘limited exceptions.'”
David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee released a statement on Thursday:
“This is a very sad day for America. This decision represents further damage to America’s leadership on protecting the most vulnerable people around the world. It has no basis in logic or need, damages America’s interests, and tarnishes her values.
“It is an unspeakable setback for refugee mothers who wish to see their children in school, parents who wish to work and support their family, and children who deserve a chance at life that isn’t solely defined by the instability and the trauma of their childhood.
“Refugee Resettlement is an essential lifeline that the U.S. provides for the most vulnerable refugees at a time of unprecedented global crisis. Historic bipartisan support for this program – providing safety for persecuted people – has demonstrated U.S. values in action.
“With the administration slashing admissions and disregarding this bipartisan tradition, Congress has the power to act to uphold America’s legacy by passing the GRACE Act which would set 95,000 as the minimum annual goal in line with historic norms.”