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Mar 27, 2018

Update--Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S.

In January, the IRC released projected figures for refugee resettlement in the United States. The IRC’s analysis shows the nations resettlement program on track to resettle only 21,292 refugees in Fiscal Year 2018, well below the administrations 45,000 cap, and far below the historic annual average of 95,000.

David Miliband, CEO and President of the IRC released a statement, saying--

“The shocking figures we are releasing today show that the U.S. is on track to cut by three quarters the number of refugees allowed into the country for resettlement. This is a dramatic shift from 30 years of bipartisan practice, and represents an unprecedented assault on U.S. global leadership in this area.

“It is no exaggeration that the future of America as a home for refugees is now on the line. Congress needs to hold the administration to account for missing its own target, announced just four months ago.

“The administration’s determination to squeeze the life out of the refugee resettlement program will harm the lives, and life chances, of some of the most vulnerable people on the planet, and it sets a terrible moral example to the rest of the world.”

The IRC notes modest but still insufficient movement to address refugee populations prompted by upheavals in The Democratic Republic of Congo, Bhutan, Syria and Myanmar. More alarming are several trends tied to the extended travel ban, “red tape” vetting measures, and select family reunification holds, all of which prompt serious concerns for the integrity and impartiality of an immigration program historically based on need.

In the last year, thousands of refugees who were already vetted by the world’s strictest resettlement program and deemed ready to travel have been walled off through administrative barriers, not only dashing hopes of a brighter future for their families — and desperately desired safety for their children — but actively leaving them in harm’s way as well. We at the IRC are continuing to #StandWithTheBanned, and fight this historical low refugee acceptance cap—and we thank you for standing with us.


Nov 22, 2017

U.S. Refugees at Risk - Update

In January of 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that, in part, moved to suspend the United States refugee resettlement program and slash refugee arrivals by more than half. In response, for the first time in the IRC’s 84 year history, we launched an emergency appeal to protect our refugee resettlement work in 28 cities across the United States.

With your contributions, the IRC has been able to provide opportunities for 7,000 newly resettled refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, and other immigrants in the United States since February.

Now, in September, it was announced that President Trump will be capping next year’s refugee admissions at a historic low of 45,000. That means while the refugee crisis rages on, and 65.6 million people have been displaced worldwide, the U.S. will only be able to resettle 45,000 refuges in 2018. For comparison sake, the 2017 cap was 110,000. Previously the lowest cap had been 67,000 in 1986. Our VP of U.S. Programs, Hans Van de Weerd, says that this “record-low cap on refugee resettlement, the White House is showing a stunning cruelty toward those fleeing our common enemies - enemies who intend to paint the U.S. as indifferent to refugees' suffering”.

While sustained federal  funding  has  been  approved  for  refugee  resettlement  this  fiscal year, measures  of   the executive  orders  that seek  to suspend  the  refugee  program  and  restrict  entry  into  the  U.S. based  on  nationality continue  to  be  debated  in  court, and therefore continue to jeopardize the IRC’s funding for resettlement and immigration services. Refugees face an uncertain future in the U.S.–making your support more valuable than ever before. Support from GlobalGiving donors has enabled the IRC to:

  • Provide essential resettlement services for recent arrivals
  • Develop new and expanded mental health and protection services for vulnerable clients
  • Bolster critical immigration services
  • Empower economic self-sufficiency
  • Educate and protect refugee youth and children

The US has a long history of resettling those fleeing war and persecution abroad, and often sets the trend for how other countries will respond to crises. With a cap this low — and need this high — the US is sending the message that we’re not interested in doing any more than the bare minimum to help families fleeing war, violence, and persecution in their home countries. This bare minimum isn’t good enough, and together, with your support, we can continue to set a better standard for our friends abroad to follow.


Sep 6, 2017

Update - Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S.

What’s Happening

  • As the travel ban took effect on July 13 the IRC called on the Trump administration to transparently and swiftly review the already-rigorous vetting process for refugees.
  • That same day a federal judge ordered the administration to expand the number of people who are exempt from the travel ban to include grandparents and other relatives, as well as refugees without family ties to the U.S.
  • On July 19 the Supreme Court declined to halt the judge's ruling on relatives but blocked the part of the ruling applying to refugees without family in the U.S.
  • Said IRC president David Miliband: “Though we celebrate the fact that grandparents are now considered close family—this is only an incomplete victory. We should not forget that refugees without family relationships still bear the brunt of this bad policy. We hope that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will allow for the full implementation of Judge Watson’s order and will recognize the true bona fide nature of the relationship between refugees and resettlement agencies, and local communities that wish to welcome them.”
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