Skip to content

Bipartisan senators urge Trump administration to keep refugee program

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
8/6/2019 (2 weeks ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

 A bipartisan group of 18 senators is urging the Trump administration not to shut down refugee admissions, but rather to increase admissions.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
8/6/2019 (2 weeks ago)

Published in U.S.


Washington D.C., (CNA) - Citing "alarming" reports that the administration might cut off refugee admissions in FY 2020 amidst what the United Nations Refugee Agency says are the "highest levels of displacement on record," the letter from the senators asks the administration "to increase the refugee resettlement cap and to admit as many refugees as possible within that cap."

"America has an obvious interest in demonstrating and promoting freedom of religion to the world, including accepting refugees who flee persecution because of their faith," states the letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan.

The letter initiative was led by Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.).

A bipartisan group of senators signed on to the letter, including Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tom Carper (D-Del.),  Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), and Edward Markey (D-Mass.).

The refugee admission quota is currently at its lowest recorded level, a cap of 30,000 for FY 2019. That's lower than the FY 2018 cap of 45,000, and just half of that number were actually admitted to the U.S. in FY 2018.

Now admissions could be shut off entirely in FY 2020. Politico first reported on July 18 that Trump administration officials were considering setting refugee admissions at zero, or limiting the number of admissions to anywhere from 3,000-10,000.

The chair of the U.S. bishops' migration committee, Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, said the report "if true, is disturbing."

"The world is in the midst of the greatest humanitarian displacement crisis in almost a century," he said. "Eliminating the refugee resettlement program leaves refugees in harm's way and keeps their families separated across continents."

Bishop Vasquez called for a return to the "historic norms" with resettlement goals of 95,000 refugees.

The Trump administration's reduction in refugee admissions comes after the Obama administration accepted around 85,000 refugees in FY 2016, and planned to accept 110,000 refugees in FY 2017 before Trump ordered a four-month halt to refugee admissions to review the program when he took office, ultimately capping the number at 50,000 for the fiscal year.

The senators said they were "especially surprised" at the news of a possible shutdown in refugee admissions after the State Department's Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom held in Washington, D.C. from July 11-13.

The second annual Ministerial was a gathering of religious and civic leaders from all around the world to discuss religious persecution and religious freedom. Survivors of religious persecution from various countries shared stories of harassment, imprisonment or torture on account of their religion.

Citing U.S. interest in harboring survivors of religious persecution, the letter says that "In fact, the administration acknowledges the partnership between refugee admission and protection of inherent human rights in both the 2018 Report on International Religious Freedom and the 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices."

As for concerns about security, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is successful, the letter said, with refugees being "some of the most well-vetted travelers in the world" having to undergo "biometric and biographic checks" in "multiple stages throughout the process."

Furthermore, the number of refugees alone who have either completed the screening process or are close to completing it would fill this year's quota and would extend into next year, the letter said.

Citing the concerns of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, the letter states that "It is inconsistent to maintain policies that promote in-country asylum and simultaneously eliminate the legal refugee process."


Comments


More U.S.

Kentucky again denies abortion clinic's license Watch

Image of

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's administration has reportedly denied a Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Louisville its license to ... continue reading


Four more abuse allegations against former Cheyenne bishop Watch

Image of

Four new sex abuse allegations have been raised against Emeritus Bishop Joseph Hart, spanning his time both as a priest in Missouri and a ... continue reading



Charleston bishop stepping back to fight accusation Watch

Image of

The bishop of Charleston, South Carolina announced he will reduce his public appearances after being named in a lawsuit filed in New York. ... continue reading


Title X: Protect Life Rule comes in as Planned Parenthood walks out Watch

Image of

 Planned Parenthood will no longer receive Title X funds and has withdrawn from the program entirely. The decision took effect Monday, ... continue reading


After protest, Buffalo diocese denies allegations of former seminarian Watch

Image of

Amid a media firestorm and a small protest Sunday, the Diocese of Buffalo disputed allegations made in a letter published by a recently ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.