Trump Administration Breaks the Law and Deals Another Blow to Refugee Resettlement Program

October 1, 2020
Trump’s refusal to consult with Congress violates U.S. law, and his continued cuts to refugee resettlement jeopardize lives. Voters must ensure that a new administration can rebuild this life-saving program.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mary Elizabeth Margolis,

Washington, D.C.–Voice for Refuge today condemned the Trump Administration for its illegal refusal to consult with Congress as it proposed a new historic-low refugee goal for the upcoming fiscal year. This marks a continued pattern of the Trump Administration violating the law and dismantling the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and means that fewer refugees can be resettled in FY2021 than at any time in the history of the U.S. resettlement program. The impacts will be far-reaching for refugees seeking resettlement to the United States, including families separated from their loved ones and vulnerable people in immediate danger.

Voice for Refuge calls on all voters—including the millions of former refugees who are now U.S. citizens—to respond to this news by supporting the Biden/Harris ticket on November 3rd. Voice for Refuge recently endorsed Vice President Biden and Senator Harris, including a side-by-side comparison between them and the current administration on refugee issues.

“For decades refugee resettlement was seen by both Republican and Democratic administrations alike as a common good and a moral necessity. It’s a life-saving program that supports U.S. foreign policy, and refugees contribute greatly to the U.S. economy and culture. Yet in just over three years, President Trump has cast basic human decency aside and shredded this historic program to tatters. His fellow party-members in Congress have done little to oppose him, shown by their complete lack of outrage over the administration violating the law and not consulting with them or their colleagues across the aisle. Because of this administration, lives will be ruined, families will remain separated, and our legacy as a place of welcome will continue to diminish.” said Mustafa Jumale, Political Director for Voice for Refuge. “Thankfully, this election is upon us, and the American people can put an end to immigration policies based on hate and xenophobia by voting Biden-Harris.”

Joe Biden has, over the course of his career as a U.S. Senator and Vice President of the United States, been a champion for refugees and immigrants. Biden was an original co-sponsor of The Refugee Act of 1980, the legislation that established the U.S. refugee resettlement program and asylum system. He has pledged to repeal Trump’s Muslim, Refugee, Immigration, and Asylum bans, and has committed to raising U.S. refugee admissions to 125,000 per year. Trump has notably cut refugee resettlement from an average cap of 95,000 to an historic low of 18,000, and is now proposing an even lower level of 15,000 in Fiscal Year 2021.

Kamala Harris has also been a champion for refugees and has gone above and beyond to support refugees and the immigrant community. As the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, Harris has been an advocate for these communities, showing up at pro-refugee protests, rallies, and vigils, and co-sponsoring five pieces of pro-refugee legislation.

Voice for Refuge is the first 501(c)4 organization created to advance pro-refugee policies at the national, state, and local level and to hold elected leaders accountable to upholding America’s legacy of welcome. Voice for Refuge is educating the public about the benefits of refugee resettlement, advocating for pro-refugee policies, and increasing civic engagement among refugees through non-partisan voter education. Voice for Refuge also promotes the representation of refugees in government by supporting former refugees and pro-refugee candidates running for office at the national, state, and local level.


Voice for Refuge Action Fund is a first-of-its-kind 501(c)(4) organization created to stand alongside and elevate refugee voices in the fight for justice and equality.