Conyers & Lofgren Statement on 2018 Refugee Ceiling

September 27, 2017
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) Ranking Member of the House Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, issued the following statement today after an annual refugee consultation with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke in which officials confirmed the Trump Administration would set an historically low refugee ceiling of 45,000 for the 2018 fiscal year:

"The Trump Administration's decision today to cut refugee admissions to an historic low of 45,000 is an affront to the United States' legacy as a protector of oppressed people.

"The U.S. Refugee program was created in the aftermath of World War II. At that time, we rightly rejected anti-Semitic ideology and embraced our role as a beacon of hope and freedom for those in need. We admitted immigrant survivors of the Holocaust because true global leadership required a tangible commitment to humanitarian protection.

"Since that time, U.S. refugee protection has never been a partisan issue, nor a political one. Presidents from both parties have long recognized that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is essential to global stability and our reputation as a leader on the world stage. That's why experts from both political parties—including Republicans Condoleezza Rice and Michael Chertoff—understand and espouse the program's value in safeguarding our nation's security. Indeed, the program is often referred to as the "crown jewel" of U.S. diplomacy.

"Today's decision turns our back on the world at a time when there are more refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced persons than at any time since World War II. It is an abdication of our moral authority, and an abandonment of the very values that make America great."

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