More than 500 faith leaders, denominations, churches and nonprofits have signed onto a letter sent to President Donald Trump Friday, urging his administration to relent on reported plans to further shrink the U.S. refugee resettlement program.
As the Trump administration is expected to soon announce a new ceiling for refugee resettlement for fiscal year 2020, the faith groups call on the U.S. government to resettle at least 95,000 refugees in the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
The letter comes as the Trump administration has cut the number of refugees resettled to the U.S. by 75 percent since taking office. What is more troubling to the leaders and organizations that signed onto Friday’s letter is the report last month that the administration is considering admitting zero refugees into the country in 2020.
With the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, the U.S. has resettled just over 27,000 refugees thus far in fiscal year 2018.
“We are called by our sacred texts and faith principles to love our neighbor, accompany the vulnerable, and welcome the sojourner,” the letter reads.
“Our congregations, synagogues, and mosques have historically played key roles in assisting refugees with housing, language, employment, and social supports necessary for rapid and effective resettlement into U.S. communities. Yet, our commitment to offer refuge from violence and persecution requires our government to demonstrate the moral leadership upon which our nation was founded.”
With over 25 million refugees in the world today and 70 million people displaced across the globe, the United Nations estimates that about 1.4 million refugees worldwide will require resettlement in 2020 whether as a result of war, famine or persecution.
Friday’s letter from faith leaders and groups argues that there has never been a time of greater need for the U.S. to uphold its “moral responsibility.”
“People of faith are especially distraught by the implications of low refugee arrivals for particular populations of concern such as families seeking to reunite, religious minorities, and children,” the letter reads. “Family unity is a cornerstone of U.S. refugee resettlement, given the importance of family values in our country and the crucial role that a united family plays in refugee protection and integration, and it is unacceptable to see families being separated due to U.S. policies.”
The leaders and organizations argue that reduced refugee resettlement in the U.S. will impact Christians, Muslims, and other persecuted believers worldwide who are “left without options to safely practice their faith.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith