Durbin Statement On President Trump's Latest Assault On Refugees

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, today released the following statement after the Trump Administration announced it will aim to admit only 18,000 refugees to the U.S. in the coming year and issued an executive order purporting to allow state and local governments to block refugees from being resettled in their communities:

“In the midst of the worst refugee crisis in history, the Trump Administration has dropped America’s moral standing to a new low by setting a refugee admissions goal of only 18,000 and issuing a new executive order, flying in the face of court decisions, that claims to give local governments the power to turn away refugees.  Since our nation’s tragic failure to help Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler, we have set an example for the world by providing safe haven to the world’s most vulnerable people. 

“The Administration’s actions are a betrayal of this longstanding bipartisan tradition of generosity and will accomplish nothing except punishing innocent victims of persecution who pose no threat to our security and have turned to America for safety.”

Since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980, the United States resettled an average of more than 80,000 refugees per year until the Trump Administration set the refugee admissions ceiling for Fiscal Year 2018 at 45,000, the lowest target in history, and failed to resettle even half that number.  For Fiscal Year 2019, the Administration slashed that number yet again, to a mere 30,000.