America Is and Must Remain a Beacon of Hope for Refugee

Joint Statement by Tom Lantos Human Rights Co-Chairs James P. McGovern (D-MA) and Randy Hultgren (R-IL)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressmen Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Jim McGovern (D-MA), Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announced ceiling for refugee admissions into the United States next year:

“We join together to express our extreme disappointment at the administration’s proposal to impose a limit on admitting no more than 30,000 refugees in the coming fiscal year. With the world in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in recorded history, with 65 million people displaced, 22.5 million of whom are refugees, American global leadership in refugee resettlement and standing as a beacon of hope is more critical than ever before. This proposed ceiling is alarmingly inadequate and far below the average refugee admission goal of 95,000 and even a steep cut from the 45,000 allowed in this year. We are deeply concerned that of the 45,000 allowed into the U.S. this year, only 21,000 have been accepted.

“Refugee resettlement has been and should continue to be a cornerstone of American foreign policy. We should not be stepping back from our responsibility as a global leader in refugee resettlement, but rather stepping up to provide a safe and legal alternative for those most in need of safety. Resettlement is crucial to alleviate instability throughout the world, maintain strong relationships with our allies, and advance our foreign policy interests. By providing safe haven for refugees, we help to keep ourselves safe.

“The United States cannot abandon its role as a place of sanctuary for the individuals and families seeking to escape violence, turmoil, and persecution. We cannot turn our back on the international community in a time of historic need. We urge the administration to reconsider its position to comport with global realities as we remain committed to work to ensure that the United States continues to welcome all from around the world seeking a place of safety and protection.”