Washington, D.C. – On Saturday, following a month-long freeze in refugee admissions, President Trump finally signed the Presidential Refugee Determination, setting a record-low refugee admissions level of 18,000 for Fiscal Year 2020. In response, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) released the following statement:
"President Trump’s decision to cut refugee admission levels to almost half of last year’s already-record low shocks the conscience. During the consultation process with Secretary Pompeo, which occurred more than two weeks after the deadline set by law, there was bipartisan agreement in favor of increasing the proposed admission level, especially in light of the President’s decision to abandon our Kurdish allies. Unfortunately, the Administration appears to have ignored this bipartisan agreement and, for the second consecutive year, set the lowest refugees admissions ceiling in our nation’s history.
"Potentially even more worrisome, the Administration allocated refugee admissions to prioritize one group—religious minorities from Ukraine—over all others, including Afghans and Iraqis who supported U.S. Armed Forces. In doing so, the Administration deprioritizes all other refugees, including those seeking protection from persecution based on race, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This is an abdication of our moral authority, and an abandonment of the values that make America great.
"We intend to hold Secretary Pompeo to his word that the Administration will resettle 18,000 refugees this year, consistent with the Presidential Determination. We will also closely monitor the implementation of last month’s executive order that politicizes the humanitarian refugee resettlement program by giving States and localities veto authority over resettlement efforts."