MFA Urges Congress to Protect and Restore the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program
The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA) has joined more than 400 national, state, and local organizations on a letter that asks Members of Congress to protect and restore the life-saving U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).
The letter states, “Resettlement is the last resort for refugees — people who have been persecuted for their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group — who cannot return to their home country and cannot rebuild their lives in the country where they first fled.”
Each year, the President in consultation with Congress determines how many refugees should be allowed into the United States, in line with global displacement needs and the United States’ commitment to protect those fleeing violence and persecution. That number plummeted from 110,000 in FY 2017 to an all-time low of 45,000 in FY 2018. It fell yet again to 30,000 in FY 2019. Four months into the current fiscal year, a mere 7,161 refugees had been admitted into the country.
The letter also states: “By reducing our commitments on resettlement, the administration has made it more difficult for the United States to credibly ask other countries to host refugees and to advance our own foreign policy interests."
At this pace, the United States will fall far short of its already modest 30,000 limit. Created in the wake of World War II, the USRAP has a legacy of bipartisanship, with Congress unanimously passing The Refugee Act of 1980 and both sides of the aisle celebrating the resettlement of refugees from Nazi Germany, Vietnam, Cuba, Sudan, Burma, and Iraq.
The program is also a strategic component of U.S. foreign policy. Signatories of the letter pledged their commitment to working with Members of Congress to see that the USRAP continues to be a life-saving program for tens of thousands living in harm’s way around the globe.
Read the full letter here.