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.