Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. at a Standstill

Every year, the Trump administration has  drastically reduced the number of refugees resettled in the U.S.  For FY 2020, it set the ceiling at 18,000,  effectively a rebuke to the promise of safe haven aspired to during the previous 40 years by the Refugee Act of 1980.  Since that bill’s enactment, the average ceiling set by presidents of both political parties has been about 95,000 per year.

The reality of resettlement during the current fiscal year is even more stark.  As of July 31, 2020, only 7,905 refugees had been resettled in the U.S, despite record-breaking numbers of refugees and displaced people around the world needing new homes.  Only 522 refugees have been resettled in the U.S. since the end of March, with none resettled since May.

Only 28 refugees have been resettled in Maine so far this fiscal year.  In the last full year of the prior administration, Maine resettled about 650 refugees.

Nationwide, the administration has resettled only 81, 680 refugees since January 2017, fewer than the nearly 85,000 refugees who were admitted in FY 2016 alone.   The numbers clearly reveal this administration’s lack of commitment to provide protection to those experiencing humanitarian crises worldwide.