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HIAS Statement on Refugee Ceiling Consultations

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SILVER SPRING, Md.--The Trump Administration failed to comply with the law that requires that it consult with Congress on the refugee admissions ceiling prior to the beginning of each new fiscal year. After the delayed consultations between the Trump Administration and Congress took place yesterday, the refugee cap for Fiscal Year 2019 remains at 30,000.

HIAS is very disappointed in the historically low number, and by the process. “This Administration does not take Congressional authority seriously. It is simultaneously dismantling the refugee resettlement program while also disregarding Congress’s important oversight role,” Naomi Steinberg, HIAS’ Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy said.

As a condition of setting the refugee admissions ceiling, also known as the Presidential Determination (PD), the Refugee Act of 1980 requires the president to conduct an in-person consultation between House and Senate Judiciary Committees and cabinet-level designees of the President, and it must take place before the end of the fiscal year. This year the Administration publicly proposed the PD on September 17th. This is the second year in a row that the Administration announced a refugee admissions goal before consulting with Congress.

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