Historic low on US refugee cap lamented as ‘deeply disturbing’

Washington D.C., Sep 18, 2018 / 01:18 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic leaders have criticized an announcement that the United States will be reducing its refugee cap to historic lows, while global rates of refugees and forcibly displaced persons are at an all-time high.

“To cut off protection for many who are fleeing persecution, at a time of unprecedented global humanitarian need, contradicts who we are as a nation,” said Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Texas, chair of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee.

He said the lowered refugee limit “is deeply disturbing and leaves many human lives in danger.”

On Sept. 17, the Trump administration announced its intention to cap U.S. refugee resettlement at 30,000 next year, the lowest cap since the nation’s refugee program began in 1980.

The announcement comes as the world continues to witness its highest recorded number of forcibly displaced persons – more than 65 million across the globe, according to the United Nations. The number of refugees is also at its highest recorded level at over 22 million, more than half of whom are under age 18.

The lowering of the refugee cap for the 2019 Fiscal Year comes after the Trump administration previously lowered the cap to 45,000 for 2018, although fewer than half that many refugees have been resettled as the fiscal year comes to a close. In the final year of the Obama administration, the U.S. settled nearly 85,000 refugees.

In announcing the change, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited the importance of screening for national security, and emphasized that refugee admissions are only one part of the United States’ global humanitarian assistance efforts, which will also include processing a back-logged system of asylum-seekers and providing foreign aid to refugees overseas.

Responding in a Sept. 18 statement, Bishop Vásquez stressed that the United States is a nation built upon a commitment to welcoming those fleeing violence and persecution, and has the resources to continue doing so.

“In the coming days, we pray that Congress will have the opportunity to engage in the formal consultation process with the Administration that is required by law,” the bishop said. “Congress should strongly urge the Administration to return to a refugee admission level that reflects the local community response and support of refugees, global refugee protection needs, and our long history of compassionately welcoming refugees.”

Jesuit Refugee Service / USA, an organization that works with and advocates for refugees, also criticized the announcement.

“With the world’s refugee population at its highest in recorded history, now is not the time to abandon the U.S. resettlement program,” said Giulia McPherson, director of advocacy and operations for Jesuit Refugee Service / USA.

The organization said in a Sept. 18 statement that “lowering the level of admissions to the U.S. will not only have a detrimental effect on thousands of individuals and families, but will also continue to weaken the leadership role that the U.S. has maintained in meeting the needs of suffering people around the world.”

It called on Congress and the Trump administration to work toward a new goal of at least 75,000 in the coming Fiscal Year.


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  1. “Deeply disturbing” to Bishop Joe Vásquez, chair of the USCCB migration committee? Not to me and the 63 million who voted for President Trump, including tens of millions of hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding Catholics who are American citizens who oppose open-borders immigration that “Bishop” Joe and the USCCB have been demanding for years as they have fed on the $2 billion in federal grants that they got every year from alt-left socialist Obama Democrats fort “refugee resettlement”. The 30,000 cap is actually too high this year; it should be -0- next year. Perhaps “Bishop” Joe will have something useful to do after the mid-term elections once the Department of Justice initiates a RICO action against the whole crowd of cowardly, lying, thieving Judas bishops who have spent decades protecting the 50% to 70% of their priests who are homosexual and hideous crimes they have committed.

  2. Times have changed bishop. “Who we are as a people” won’t cut it any more. The statistics on refugees are almost certainly falsified (like everything else reported in the “media”) to support a leftist agenda. The refugee/asylum process has been completely hijacked by leftist political causes. The vast majority of asylum seekers referred to law firms’ pro bono departments by left-wing referral agencies are homosexuals, gender dysphorics and muslims with no particular love for America. Persecuted Christians, or victims of socialist tyranny and other unfashionable victims of actual persecution rarely get referred. The system is a sham, and a scam. What is “deeply troubling” is not a country trying to resist the consequences of what has become a thoroughly corrupted process, whereby the former good of immigration to America is being used as a weapon to destroy her. The Dalai Lama even recognizes this has become a problem for Europe. Should we take no warning whatsoever from Europe’s experience? Are we really supposed to just bury our heads in the sand like a bunch of idiots based on some vacuous and inane platitudes about “who we are as a nation”? No, what’s really “deeply troubling” is that our so-called church leaders keep spouting this tiresome sjw nonsense while the church hierarchy sinks deeper and deeper into a morass of sexual perversion and moral and spiritual irrelevancy. I’m afraid no one’s listening to this bs any more. If you care about refugees, help them build up their own countries into places where people can live in peace. If you really care about refugees, help defeat the socialist and islamist tyrannies that are causing 90% of the world’s suffering. If you really want to help refugees, preach Christ crucified and risen. But please stop accusing us of being unChristian.

  3. Syrians can’t get in because our Bishops have helped millions of illegals move into lethal neighborhoods in the poorest areas of our cities. I recently could not get in an Ecuadorian enclave in Newark which, because of a murder by a black of an Ecuadorian, had all window shades down and a steel wall with several padlocks keeping even a mailman out. They must do mail by po box. I fought a black criminal several years ago on the street…and I was more scared standing at that enclave than then because I could read the fear in that area where a boy saw his dad get shot in the face…thanks to coming to a part of America which has a murder rate four times that of Ecuador. I’m 6’3″ 217 and I saw a rasta with dreads in that area about 6’7″ get out of a fly Chrysler 300 and leave the door unlocked and window down and walk away from it like the block knew not to touch it because he was carrying…strapped as they say.
    What the USA should do is help dysfunctional Catholic countries like El Salvador and Honduras ( 1 and 2 in world murder rates…no death penalty of course ) develop economically and in terms of martial law in the streets so that they don’t have to risk rape etc in coming here. The rich of the world like Bezos of Amazon could renovate such small countries economically by funding factories but usa military needs to advise them on making gangs extinct.

    Trump knows the Bishops helped illegals and might know the Jesuits went bankrupt twice in the north west from sex abuse claims even against the Eskimos…who in the world molests Eskimos?…well apparently a few Jesuits did and a few is enough if the victims are high in numbers. So no…Trump is not hearing Bishops or Jesuits…even if some are very sincere.

  4. I remember the days when whenever I heard the word ‘Bishop’ I automatically acceded the man respect.

    Now those days are gone, and those who bear that title today don’t seem to realize it – but it’s true.

    And whose fault is that?

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