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Nadler, Lofgren Statement on Trump Administration's Proposed Cuts to Refugee Admissions Ceiling

Washington, September 26, 2019

Washington, D.C. –Today, the State Department provided a Report to Congress regarding the Administration’s Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2020. The report proposes an abysmal refugee admissions ceiling of 18,000 for the coming fiscal year. Additionally, President Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement,” which would allow states and localities to decline to accept refugees into their communities. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) issued the following statement:

“The Trump Administration's proposal to cut refugee admissions to an historic low of 18,000 is an affront to our nation’s values. This number is nearly half of the fiscal year 2019’s historically low number and drastically lower than the historic average admissions ceiling of 95,000. Until now, U.S. refugee resettlement was never a partisan issue, nor a political one.Presidents from both parties have long recognized that the refugee program is essential to global stability and our reputation as a leader on the world stage.Yet, the Administration has repeatedly rejected the clear evidence that resettling refugees improves the U.S. economy and is important to our defense interests.

“For the past two fiscal years, the Administration has also side-stepped or only nominally complied with critical legal requirements for congressional consultation. Even though the law requires it, to date the Administration has made no effort to schedule an in-person consultation for Fiscal Year 2020. This approach to the consultation process undermines our ability to conduct meaningful oversight of U.S. refugee policy, which is a key component of the Refugee Act of 1980—a bipartisan law that Congress unanimously passed.

“We cannot turn our backs on the world right now. There are more refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced persons than at any time since World War II. It is an abdication of our moral authority, and an abandonment of the very values that make America great. We demand the Administration consult Congress on the presidential determination for refugee resettlement, and consider the severe repercussions of this extreme policy.”

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