Impact of White House's Proposed Budget on Refugee Programs
Each year, the President proposes and Congress must pass a budget to fund all government functions. This is an interactive process, typically beginning with the President's presentation of his/her suggestions, followed by Congressional scrutiny and modification -- or wholesale rewrite -- and culminating in an appropriations package finalized by September 30 to keep the government running. The budget is as much a statement of policy as it is an itemization of dollars. Choices made regarding increases or decreases to various programs reflect the priorities of decisionmakers.
The President sent his proposed FY 2018 budget to Congress on May 23. With respect to refugee admission and resettlement, the proposal is draconian, cutting or eliminating programs essential to admission and integration as well as to emergency services abroad.
Department of Health & Human Services/Office of Refugee Resettlement: 32% cut from FY 2017 enacted budget (already too low) to refugee resettlement services (hurting communities that promote integration and provide services for refugees).
Department of State/USAID:
Migration and Refugee Assistance account (MRA): 10% cut from FY 2017 enacted budget (oversees vetting).
Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance account (ERMA): zeroed out (permits response to displacement emergencies).
International Disaster Assistance account (IDA): 34% cut from FY 2017 enacted budget (life-saving assistance to internally displaced persons so that they do not have to become refugees).
The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees has urged, at minimum, level funding of these accounts and will continue to do so through the appropriations process. Please see our "calls to action" -- and ACT ACCORDINGLY.