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HIAS Statement on Refugee Ceiling

SILVER SPRING, Md.--The Trump Administration today officially announced the refugee resettlement ceiling of 30,000 for Fiscal Year 2019. This is the lowest number ever set by any president since the Refugee Act became law in 1980.

In response to the announcement, Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS, said: “What President Trump has done is effectively slam the door on thousands of people, instead of giving them hope. We are abdicating our responsibility to smaller and poorer countries that, by sheer accident of geography, host the majority of the world’s refugees. As a nation we should be ashamed of this low number.”

Hetfield added: “At a time when there are over 68 million people displaced in the world, it’s hard to believe that America, a nation built by immigrants and refugees, is only willing to resettle 30,000 people."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo proposed the number, known as the Presidential Determination, on September 17. HIAS and other refugee assistance organizations, faith leaders, policy experts, and hundreds of elected officials repeatedly called on the administration to change the number.

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