Today, White House officials will meet to discuss cutting refugee admissions even further from our current embarrassingly-low limit of 30,000 refugees to 15,000 or 10,000 or even zero. To put things in perspective, the historical average is 98,000 per year and the Obama Administration admitted 85,000 in its last year.
Instead of cutting the number of refugees we admit, we should be increasing it to 95,000, close to the historical average (yet still below). Doing so would bolster the U.S. and South Carolina’s commitment to refugee resettlement and prevent our state from indefinitely losing valuable resources, agencies, jobs, expertise, and other capacity developed over the years to welcome and resettle refugees.
We don’t need to be turning our backs on nearly 40,000 refugees who have already been vetted by the U.S. government and approved for resettlement. These people are not a threat to national security or the communities they settle within. In fact, since 1980, the U.S. has proudly resettled over three million refugees and they have enhanced our local economies and communities, strengthened our foreign policy, and bolstered our standing in the world as a leader for freedom.
In South Carolina, we’ve seen first-hand the resilience, hard work, and innovative skills of refugees, 150 of whom were resettled in our State last year. Given proper tools such as housing, community orientation, English-language classes, and job placement and employment skills, refugees have opened businesses, revitalized towns, and are productive, tax paying community members.
We agreed with our own Honorable Senator Lindsey Graham when he said, “I don’t see how you can lead the free world and turn your back on people who are seeking it.” Over 25 million refugees are fleeing their country with a well-founded fear of persecution. Resettlement is the last option for safety for those who cannot return home to rebuild their lives. We must not turn our back on them.
Today, we need your help. We need to tell both Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott:
- Don’t Cut Refugee Admissions. Resettlement has already been cut far too much.
- We need to increase the number of refugees we resettle.
- As the leader of the free world, the United States must take back the lead on refugee resettlement.
White House Comment Line: (202) 456-1111
Senator Lindsey Graham DC Office: (202) 224-5972
Senator Tim Scott DC Office: (202) 224-6121