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Resolution on Refugee Resettlement in the USA

February 20, 2020


Despite the data demonstrating the contributions of refugees to American life, the numbers of refugees resettled by the U.S. is dramatically declining. Since passage of the 1980 U.S. Refugee Act, the International Rescue Committee reports that the average admissions cap has been 95,000 annually under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

President Obama pledged to resettle 110,000 refugees in 2017; however, the Trump Administration reduced that number by more than half during President Trump’s first year in office. In 2019, the Administration set the admissions cap at 30,000, a record low for admissions to the U.S. For 2020, the Administration has proposed a cap of 18,000, another record low. Disproportionately affected by the reduction in admissions has been the Muslim population. In the first half of fiscal year 2018, the number of Muslims resettled dropped to 1,800 from 22,900 in all of fiscal year 2017.

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