US on track to resettle more refugees in 2019 but still too few, faith groups say | 7/16/2019 | Staff (Posted by) Level 3
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WASHINGTON — The United States is on pace to resettle slightly more refugees in fiscal year 2019 than it did in the previous year but faith-based refugee advocates are still pressing the U.S. to do much more to help people fleeing persecution across the globe.

As the administration touts international religious freedom as one of its core priorities in foreign policy, advocates told congressional staffers during a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill that the Donald Trump administration’s refugee resettlement policies are negatively impacting the state of religious freedom worldwide.

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On the day before the U.S. State Department's second-annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, representatives from the nation’s leading faith-based refugee resettlement agencies challenged the Trump administration to put an end to its drastic reduction of the refugee resettlement program.

They warned that as the U.S. has cut refugee resettlement by over 66 percent from fiscal year 2016, other countries have followed the U.S.’ lead in closing their doors to refugees.

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“At a time when we are seeing the largest numbers of people displaced around the world, we should be continuing to lead in resettling refugees and not closing the door to prevent refugees from coming here in the first place, especially when the administration has been advocating for persecuted religious minorities,” Jenny Yang, senior vice president for advocacy and policy at the evangelical refugee resettlement agency World Relief, said.

“But they have effectively shut the door on them to even come to the United States of America. We have to practice at home what we are teaching abroad. When we are not allowing refugees who have fled persecution to find hope here, then we are effectively continuing their suffering overseas.”

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While World Relief and the other eight organizations authorized to resettle refugees in the U.S. have long spoken out about the...
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