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(RNS) — Faith-based groups that help the U.S. government resettle refugees fear the future of their work is in jeopardy, after learning that the Trump administration is considering shutting down refugee resettlement for the coming fiscal year.
That move, advocates say, would dismantle an already weakened — and largely religious — refugee resettlement infrastructure dedicated to helping immigrants.
Thursday - July - Politico - Trump - Administration
On Thursday (July 18), Politico reported that Trump administration officials are mulling the option of setting the annual ceiling for refugee admissions to zero.
The shift could devastate the refugee resettlement program, which is largely operated by religious groups: Of the nine non-profit organizations that currently partner with the federal government to resettle refugees, six are faith-based.
Jen - Smyers - Director - Policy - Advocacy
Jen Smyers, director of policy and advocacy for Church World Service, criticized that possible move on a call with journalists on Friday. She and other experts on the call argued that ending refugee resettlement would not only leave thousands of refugees stranded but also demolish a refugee resettlement program — one that includes CWS — designed to help people facing persecution.
“I think we would appeal to the president, the vice president and really everyone in the administration who professes to be a person of faith to look at the consequences that this would have and to really go back to basics in terms of the commandment to welcome the stranger,” she said.
Smyers - Anne - Richard - Assistant - Secretary
Smyers was echoed by Anne Richard, the former assistant secretary of state for the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.
“I think it’s pretty clear that the Trump administration is trying to drive the U.S. refugee resettlement program into the ground,” Richard said. “The Trump administration is trying to ruin a successful public-private partnership.”
Politico - Officials - Refugee - Cap - Zero
Politico reported that officials are also considering reducing the refugee cap to 3,000 or 10,000 instead of zero. Either would be a drastic...
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