Trump Administration Looking to Drop Refugee Admissions to Zero in 2020

  • According to sources, the Trump administration is looking to essentially not allow any refugees into the country in 2020, which was discussed during a meeting last week with top security officials.
  • The sources say that  a “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services representative who is closely aligned with White House immigration adviser Stephen Miller suggested setting a cap at zero.”
  • Later in the meeting, it is said that Homeland Security Department officials suggested allowing between 3,000 and 10,000 refugees into the country next year.
  • Some officials at the Department of Defense are said to be alarmed about the “near-shutdown” of the program because they don’t want to see Iraqis turned away since they “risked their lives assisting U.S. forces in that country.”
  • This year, the Trump administration only allowed 30,000 refugees into the U.S. The year before, 45,000 refugees were granted admission.
  • If refugee admissions are drastically reduced, Trump would have “a powerful talking point as he makes immigration restrictions a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.”
  • However, others are concerned about the welfare of people who are seeking shelter in the U.S. to avoid violence, persecution, poverty and more in their home countries.
  • Amnesty International USA is asking for the U.S. to allow at least 95,000 refugees to enter the country in 2020.
  • The organization released a statement reading: “The United States used to be a leader in providing refuge to those in need, all around the world. We can’t say that anymore. It is beyond shameful and a new low, even for this administration, to even consider accepting no refugees to the U.S.”
  • The statement continued: “…Zero will never be an acceptable number for any country let alone a country with so many resources and people willing to welcome new neighbors looking to rebuild their lives in peace and safety.”
  • Jen Smyers, a director with Church World Service, an American resettlement agency, said: “In the long-term, it would mean that the capacity and the ability of the United States to resettle refugees would be completely decimated.”
  • Right now, officials said nothing has been confirmed and the numbers could change.

Reference Links

  • Politico: Trump officials pressing to slash refugee admissions to zero next year READ
  • IRC: IRC: Reports of Zero US Refugee Admissions Next Year READ
  • Relief Web: Statement on the Potential Halt to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program READ

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