Arlington, VA – Today, the Trump administration announced that the refugee resettlement ceiling will be set at 18,000 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. This is the lowest number since the U.S Resettlement Program was established nearly 40 years ago. The administration previously set the ceiling at 45,000 for FY18 and 30,000 for FY19. While the resettlement number continues to dwindle here in the United States, the number of refugees worldwide grows daily. There are currently over 70.8 million people who are displaced, 25.9 million of whom are refugees.
Since the start of the resettlement program, over 3 million people have been granted the opportunity to rebuild their previously shattered lives here in the United States. Refugees who come through this program undergo a vigorous vetting process, which ensures that they will otherwise be persecuted if they return to their home countries. With the U.S. resettlement program turning its back on the world’s most vulnerable, thousands of people in dire circumstances have lost the hope of ever building a future for their children.
The administration’s low numbers are not an indication of what Americans believe is beneficial for our country. Across the country, communities that have welcomed refugees say that their new neighbors contribute tremendously both economically and culturally. Businesses have also advocated for the resettlement of more refugees, because they are a crucial part of the American labor market.
The United States has historically been a leader in the protection of refugees. However, today’s decision represents a shift that will affect refugees around the world for years to come. It is our hope that the collective voices and actions of those who believe in this life-saving program will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of refugees and other newcomers.
ECDC is one of nine resettlement agencies working in partnership with the Department of State and the Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide initial placement and support services to refugees being resettled in the United States. ECDC promotes cultural, educational and socio-economic development programs to assist refugees and immigrants in becoming productive members of their new homeland.