Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally

by International Rescue Committee
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Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally
Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally
Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally
Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally
Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally
Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally
Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally
Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally
Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally
Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally
Help Refugees at Risk in the U.S. and Globally

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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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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Mother and child crossing the boder
Mother and child crossing the boder

The Executive Order signed is not a solution for families seeking much-needed asylum and does nothing to reunite the thousands of children who have already been separated from their parents. It has continued the disturbing criminalization of asylum, in a break with the very treaty obligations the United States helped craft after WWII.

Those fleeing severe domestic violence, gang-related violence, or other forms of persecution perpetrated by non-state actors in Central America have the legal right to have their asylum cases heard without being criminalized or separated from their children.

The IRC helps unaccompanied minors by overseeing post-release services and providing basic orientation on their rights before referring them to organizations who can directly work on their case.

The IRC has conducted hundreds of home visits on many foster parents to ensure that the home is safe for minors. The IRC does a great deal of training, information sharing, and guiding of sponsors of unaccompanied minors around issues ranging from education, legal assistance, and child welfare laws. The IRC works with unaccompanied minors who are displaced by conflict and disaster around the world, and we are deeply familiar with the impact of toxic stress on small children.

IPD: IRC staff in El Salvador have witnessed first-hand the acute vulnerabilities and protection needs of those who are forced to flee and seek safety in the United States. Families seeking asylum in the U.S. from the Northern Triangle are doing so because they have exhausted all other safe options and are in need of protection. The Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy won’t change that fact.

In response to tremendous levels of violence and critical protection needs, IRC returned to El Salvador last year. The International Rescue Committee works with the government to improve quality of and access programs and services for people in need; the IRC provides emergency cash relief and lifesaving information services to people in El Salvador who have been uprooted by growing violence.

The Administration has systematically denied safety to the world’s most vulnerable—from its retreat from refugee resettlement, ending the safe and legal pathway for Central American minors to apply for protections, to turning its back on asylum seekers at our borders and separating thousands of families. The IRC condemns this retreat from long-standing international protection and humanitarian obligations.


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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.


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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.


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International Rescue Committee

Location: New York, NY - USA
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Twitter: @RESCUEorg
Project Leader:
Savannah Paolillo
New York, NY United States
$18,866 raised of $50,000 goal
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