WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Wednesday upon reports the Trump Administration was set to lower the annual number of refugees entering the United States to 45,000 individuals:
“The Trump Administration’s move to arbitrarily slash our country’s annual refugee admissions ceiling to just 45,000 is devastating to tens of thousands of innocent people, and a blow to America’s standing as the premier global humanitarian leader. Setting a record-low refugee admissions level is more evidence of the Trump administration’s indifference and lack of humanity toward thousands of vulnerable refugees who have been forced to flee their home countries through no fault of their own. President Trump’s decision demonstrates his lack of understanding of the importance of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, both to our national security and to our global standing.
“I am also extremely concerned about the message this decision sends to our global allies. For years we have relied on host countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Uganda and now Bangladesh, to accept more and more refugees—how can we credibly ask them to continue accepting refugees if we refuse to do our part? The United States has for decades provided safe harbor for those fleeing violence and persecution around the world while also safeguarding our national security.
“The United States has the most stringent and thorough security processes for vetting refugees. Moreover, refugees have a net positive economic impact on the U.S. economy, despite the Administration’s attempts to mischaracterize refugee resettlement as an economic drain. I urge the Administration to reconsider the FY2018 refugee cap and ensure that we respond to the global refugee crisis in a way that reflects our values and our long-standing reputation as a global leader.”