The Trump administration is proposing the annual refugee admissions ceiling be set at 15,000 in Fiscal Year 2021.
In Fiscal Year 2020, which ended on Sept. 30, the annual refugee admissions goal was 18,000 refugees. According to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, of that target, only about 65 percent were allotted admissions.
According to the Evangelical Immigration Table, Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief, said the refugee admissions cut was “deeply concerning.”
“The White House has made explicit promises to protect persecuted Christians abroad,” he said. “Sadly, we have not seen these promises honored through a robust U.S. refugee resettlement program that has been a lifeline of protection for persecuted Christians.”
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, called the change in admissions an “embarrassment.”
“Our nation has a great tradition as a beacon of liberty to those fleeing for their lives from terror and tyranny. Persecuted Christians, and others, will be harmed by this closed door. Obviously, we cannot take in unlimited numbers of refugees, but the dwindling number of those we do take is far below the level where America could and should be in leading the world in compassion for those in peril.”
Vignarajah said the lower admissions goal means that more people will end up in refugee camps and separated from family.
“In just four years, this Administration has cut the refugee resettlement program from 110,000 to a historic low of fifteen thousand. At a time of unprecedented global need, today’s decision to further cut the refugee admissions ceiling is a complete abdication of our humanitarian and moral duty.” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
“Let this serve as a wake-up call to those who believe this administration supports avenues of legal immigration. Refugees go through extreme vetting and have done everything our government has asked of them, yet they continue to be met with open hostility and egregious processing delays from this administration,” Vignarajah asserted.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.