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Dec 18, 2018

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

On October 10, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a policy change that would make it much more difficult for immigrants building new lives in the United States to access health care, find housing, or feed their families.

Under current immigration law, an individual can be denied entry or a change of immigration status—such as obtaining permanent residency—if they are considered a “public charge.” The Trump Administration’s proposal will drastically expand this definition to include critical safety net programs that immigrant families need to survive. 

These changes directly attack the thousands of immigrant families the International Rescue Committee serves. And they hurt American communities, which have always been strengthened by the contributions of newcomers.

However, our community not taking this attack lying down: 210,889 comments were submitted to the Federal Register after the new rule was proposed. The Administration will now have to examine these comments as they consider whether or not to proceed with this devastating new policy. We must continue to stand with thousands of immigrant families who would be affected by this disastrous proposal.

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Oct 1, 2018

Update--Support Refugee Children

The horror of on-again off-again forced family separation at the United States-Mexico border is part of a global trend. In the midst of continued concern at the human cost, as well as bureaucratic confusion at the heart of Administration policy, it is vital that the bigger picture is not lost.

Children, who represent half of the worlds displaced, are particularly vulnerable. Globally there has been a recent surge, with over 300,000 unaccompanied and separated children crossing borders in 80 countries in 2015 and 2016—a five-fold increase from just five years earlier. As we learned in June, a small minority have fled to the U.S., arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border after a long journey fraught with shocking levels of abuse and sexual violence.

This is a dangerous time for children taken into custody at the border. Their stories have largely faded from the front pages, but over three months past the deadline of a federal court order to reunite families, nearly 200 children are still alone in federal custody.

On September 30th the New York Times published a report, stating that migrant children have been relocated in the middle of the night—loading them onto buses to prepare for a cross country journey to new shelter: a barren tent city on a patch of desert in West Texas. In the past year, the average length of time that migrant children spend is custody has nearly doubled, and this poses as a solution for the federal government who is struggling to house this growing population of detainees.

At the IRC, we responded directly to the crisis at the border, working with separated children and providing medical, legal, and financial assistance. Today, we are still present on the front lines of this crisis, as we work to reunite children with their families, address the longevity this trauma will have on their lives.

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Sep 19, 2018

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

The Trump Administration announced that they intend to admit no more than 30,000 refugees in the coming fiscal year - the lowest cap in U.S. resettlement program history.

Last year, the Administration made the decision to admit a maximum of 45,000 refugees, but due to new bureaucratic impediments, less than half will arrive by the end of this month. Which means that a further reduction in refugee admissions would likely result in far fewer arrivals again over the next year.

For the world's most vulnerable populations, access to resettlement is often a matter of life and death. And this dramatic reduction in refugee admissions comes at a time when more families have been forced to flee their homes by conflict and persecution than any other on record.

We have a chance to speak out before the decision is final.

The IRC knows that refugee resettlement not only saves lives, it advances American strategic interests abroad and at home. It's secure, good for the economy, and it positively impacts our communities.

The proposed reduction is yet another attack on refugees as part of an ongoing effort to slowly eliminate our nation's refugee resettlement program.

We are asking all IRC supporters and partners to consider joining us to protect the most vulnerable refugees seeking safety and resettlement in the U.S.

You can personally take action or encourage employees to take action by 
calling the Judiciary Committee leadership

Or let your IRC contact know how your company or colleagues would like to work with us to support efforts to protect refugee resettlement in the U.S. at this critical time.

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