Agencies push Trump administration to reverse course on refugee proposal

Report: adminsitration looking at zero refugee admission into US in fiscal year 2020

Tom Puckett
July 19, 2019 - 5:43 pm

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Area agencies which help refugees are urging the Trump administration to reconsider a reported proposal where the administration could virtually shut down the refugee resettlement program in Fiscal Year 2020.

Representatives of the New York Immigration Coalition and the Western New York Refugee and Asylee Coalition (composed of Catholic Charities of Buffalo, International Institute of Buffalo, Jericho Road Community Health Center, Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County, and Journey’s End Refugee Services) spoke to the many concerns for refugees, our Buffalo community, and our world if the program is stopped. Also joining the leaders in speaking out against a decimation of the refugee program were resettled refugees awaiting other family members to be resettled, and other community, business and faith leaders, as well as elected officials.

A report indicates some Trump officials propose setting a cap at zero for next year while other officials recommend between 3,000 and 10,000 refugee admissions. While the historic average for the U.S. resettlement program is 95,000 admissions each year, the President cut the number to 45,000 in FY 2018.

“Buffalos’ future, as our past, depends mightily on how well we welcome and support immigrants and refugees. We know from our own family stories what hate looks like. We also know it’s wrong. Refugees are workers, business owners, STEM students, homeowners, neighbors. Keeping refugees and immigrants out of our country harms us all, economically and in terms of our humanity. Inclusion and tolerance are the best business model. We know better and we need to be better,” says Eva Hassett of the International Institute of Buffalo.

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