270 Elected Officials Urge President to Admit At Least 30,000 More Refugees Than FY2018

SILVER SPRING, Md. –​ Two-hundred and seventy local and state elected officials from 42 states expressed their support for resettling refugees in their communities in a bipartisan letter sent to President Trump on Tuesday. Organized by HIAS, the Jewish advocacy organization that protects refugees, and supported by partner refugee advocacy and resettlement organizations, the letter urges the President to resettle at least 75,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2019.

The letter reads in part, “The United States of America is a nation founded and built by immigrants and refugees. It is that history that makes our collective states and communities strong. It is our deep respect for hard work, our shared commitment to the country we call home, and our belief that America is a beacon of hope, that unites us.”

Working with a broad coalition of national refugee advocacy organizations, HIAS was able to secure signatures of Gov. Jay Inslee (WA) and Gov. Mark Dayton (MN), as well as 58 mayors, including Muriel Bowser (Washington, D.C.), Buddy Dryer (Orlando, FL), Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta, GA), Rahm Emanuel (Chicago, IL), Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles, CA), Lyda Krewson (St. Louis, MO), Steve Adler (Austin, TX) and Mike Rawlings (Dallas, TX). Among the signatories were also city council members, state legislators and other state and local elected leaders from all levels of elected government.

Every year, the president of the United States determines the number of refugees that should be resettled in the upcoming fiscal year, signaling the United States’ commitment to protect those fleeing violence and persecution. Last year, President Trump lowered the refugee admissions quota to 45,000, marking the lowest refugee cap since the Refugee Act was enacted in 1980. Some in the administration have advocated for setting an even lower goal in the coming fiscal year.

By signing this letter, these elected officials have joined together to voice their commitment to welcoming refugees in their communities and continuing the United States’ longstanding leadership in refugee resettlement.

To view the letter and signatories, click here.


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