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National Jewish Organizations Urge Trump Administration to Welcome 75,000 Refugees in FY2019

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SILVER SPRING, MD – On Thursday, 36 national Jewish organizations issued a letter urging the Trump administration to raise the refugee admissions ceiling to at least 75,000 for FY2019. Organized by HIAS, a Jewish organization that protects refugees, and supported by other Jewish organizations that work on a diverse range of issues, the letter sends a strong message from the American Jewish community. 

The letter reads in part, “the American Jewish community owes its existence to the times in our nation’s history when the U.S. welcomed refugees from all national and religious backgrounds. It is because of our history as refugees, our biblical commandment to ‘welcome the stranger,’ and our longstanding involvement as a community in resettling and welcoming refugees, that we call on you now to give today’s refugees a chance to rebuild their lives in safety and freedom in the United States.”

HIAS was able to secure the signatures of many prominent national Jewish organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the National Council of Jewish Women, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, J Street, and many more. 

Naomi Steinberg, HIAS Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, said "We are proud that 36 organizations have come together, in a way reminding us that the commandment to welcome the stranger is repeated 36 times in the Torah. HIAS will continue to speak out for more refugees to be allowed to come to this country in search of freedom and safety."

As the world faces the worst refugee crisis in history, the Trump Administration is increasingly weakening the refugee resettlement program in the United States. Last year, President Trump set the lowest ever refugee admissions quota since the Refugee Act was passed in 1980, accepting a mere 45,000 refugees. Some Trump officials have signaled that this cap will be set even lower in the coming fiscal year.

By signing onto this letter, these national Jewish organizations are uniting to send a powerful message of acceptance and to implore the United States to continue to serve as a beacon for hope and safety for those fleeing persecution and violence around the world.

See the letter and full list of signatories.

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