Taxpayer-Funded Refugee Contractors: Trump’s Reduction in Refugee Resettlement ‘Dishonors’ America

Activists from Amnesty International , America's Voice, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Church World Service (CWS) hold a civil disobedience protest against "the decimation of the U.S. refugee resettlement program " in front of the US Capitol on October 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery …
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Refugee contractors, partially-funded by American taxpayers, say President Trump’s further reductions to the refugee resettlement program are “heartless” and “dishonors” the United States.

This week, Trump announced that he would reduce refugee resettlement to the U.S. next year by setting the annual cap at 15,000 admissions. The cap is merely a numerical limit and not a goal federal officials are supposed to reach.

The fifth consecutive reduction of the program takes admissions down by 80 percent from where they were under former President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. In response, refugee contractors — which have a financial stake in resettling as many refugees in the U.S. as possible — are attacking Trump’s latest action.

These nine refugee contractors have a vested interest in ensuring as many refugees are resettled across the U.S. as possible because their annual federally-funded budgets are contingent on the number of refugees they resettle.

Those refugee contractors include:

Church World Service (CWS), Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), International Rescue Committee (IRC), U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and World Relief Corporation (WR).

“In real terms, this means that families who have already waited years are forced to postpone reunification. It means that thousands who would otherwise find safety on our shores are left to languish in refugee camps, with no end in sight,” LIRS President Krish O’Mara said in a statement.

“This heartless decision is diametrically opposed to our values as a welcoming nation and it dishonors our common humanity at a time of dire need,” O’Mara continued.

HIAS executives wrote that reducing refugees is “a sad moment” for the U.S.

“The administration’s decision to set a record low number of refugees at a time of record high needs …. shows how far we have fallen,” HIAS executives wrote, accusing Trump of turning his “back on refugees.”

Despite the Chinese coronavirus crisis — where experts have admitted that mass migration from around the globe helped spread the virus to the U.S. — the refugee contractors have been lobbying Trump to increase resettlement admissions to at least 95,000 a year.

Open borders groups also slammed Trump’s reduction to refugee resettlement. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called the move part of Trump’s “white supremacist, Islamaphobic, and anti-immigrant agenda.”

Currently, a number of the refugee contractors are suing the Trump administration to ensure that states and localities have no say in whether refugees are resettled in their communities.

Last year, Trump issued an executive order that allows states and localities to decide whether they want to resettle refugees in their communities but the refugee contractors immediately filed suit. In January, a federal judge blocked the order.

Over the last 19 years, more than 985,000 refugees have been admitted to the country. This is a number more than double that of residents living in Miami, Florida, and would be the equivalent of adding the population of Pensacola, Florida, to the country every year.

Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers nearly $9 billion every five years, according to the latest research. Over the course of five years, an estimated 16 percent of all refugees admitted will need housing assistance paid for by taxpayers.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder. 

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