Refugee + Immigrant Advocates Denounce Trump’s Plan To Slash U.S. Refugee Intake

September 18th, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - Yesterday evening, Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced plans to cap the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. at 30,000, a record low. In previous years, the government has accepted far fewer refugees into the country than the cap, so the actual number of refugees admitted will almost certainly be drastically lower.

Secretary Pompeo also cited, “This year’s refugee ceiling reflects the substantial increase in the number of individuals seeking asylum in our country,” pitting asylum seekers against refugees.

"The Trump administration's shocking cut in refugee admissions means we have turned our back on our proud, centuries-long tradition of welcoming refugees fleeing violence and persecution. It's also a major threat to the economic viability of New York, as refugees have stabilized neighborhoods, contributed greatly and started businesses from Brentwood to Buffalo. All Americans - and New Yorkers, particularly in Buffalo, home to the largest community of refugees in New York State - will suffer from this needless, self-inflicted wound,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director at the New York Immigration Coalition.

"The new presidential determination is devastating to our nation and to thousands across the world. This will impact the City of Buffalo economically, socially, and will slow down the positive developments we have experienced through the embrace of diversity and culture. We will continue to speak out in favor of refugees and immigrants and we will continue to stand with the most vulnerable," said Anna Ireland Mongo, Chief Program Officer at Jericho Road.

"Refugees make Buffalo better for us all. From 2000-15, refugees and immigrants reduced Buffalo's population decline by 40%. They drove 2/3 the working age population growth in the Great Lakes. Refugees work, buy homes, products and services. We can't grow an economy without people. We can't fill jobs vacated by baby boomers without people. Shutting the door on refugees violates American values, is inhumane, and harms the WNY economy. Call your members now," said Eva Hassett, Executive Director at International Institute of Buffalo.

"As our world faces its worst displacement crisis in history, the U.S. has resettled less than half of its 45,000 FY18 admission goal, which is an all-time low. With yesterday’s announcement by the Trump administration to set a new historic low of 30,000 admissions for FY19, vulnerable populations, as well as U.S. diplomatic, national security, and foreign policy interests will further suffer. Locally, our foreign-born friends and neighbors will continue to endure the pain of family separation, not to mention the loss of cultural, intellectual, and economic input our region had been (and needs to continue) relying on in today’s competitive world. Journey’s End Refugee Services will continue to work hard to advocate on behalf of and serve refugees around the world as well as here in Buffalo, as our community continues to reflect the best of our nation by supporting refugee resettlement," said Karen M. Andolina Scott, Executive Director at Journey's End Refugee Services, Inc.