Washington, September 14, 2017 — This week, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration’s ban on refugee admissions to continue, pending a full hearing of the issue before the Court next month. At the same time, news reports suggest that the Trump administration is considering reducing refugee admission targets for the 2019 fiscal year to less than 50,000 individuals, which if implemented, would represent the lowest admission target set by any administration since Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980. The following is a statement from Esther D. Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators:
“America is a land of opportunity, welcome and refuge, but those fundamental promises are at risk today with the news that the Trump administration may slash refugee admissions to below 50,000 persons in the 2019 fiscal year. The efforts to extinguish the light of refugee protection in the United States began in January with an executive order that banned travelers from many Muslim-majority countries, froze refugee admissions and placed unfair and unneeded “bona fide relationship” tests on individuals who qualify for refugee status in the United States but have no immediate ties to the country. For now, the Supreme Court has allowed the relationship test to remain, but the administration is potentially accelerating its efforts to end our commitment to refugees through a dramatic reduction of refugee admissions.
“The crisis among displaced and refugee populations around the world is greater than at any time since the end of World War II. As an organization founded to assist foreign students following the end of that war, NAFSA has stood for the value of international exchange, understanding and assistance since its origins nearly 70 years ago. America is a generous country with both the capacity and heart to welcome far more refugees. We call on the administration to welcome those in need and to increase the admission rate to at least 100,000 persons, a level commensurate with Canada’s commitment. To do less is to slowly crush the refugee admissions program, and with it, the beacon of hope that America represents to those in need of humanitarian protection.”