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Exodus Refugee Statement on Historically Low Refugee Admissions


September 18, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – Exodus Refugee Immigration is outraged by the Trump Administration’s decision to set the annual refugee admissions goal at just 30,000 individuals, an historic low. This decision is an affront to our values and another step in the dismantling of this humanitarian program. Our doors have always been open to people fleeing persecution, injustice, and war. Closing our doors creates an uncertain future for millions of refugees across the globe.

While the Administration has set a regressive and inadequate number, we expect the actual number of admitted refugees to be even lower. In the current 2018 program year, the admissions ceiling is set at 45,000. However, estimates project the United States will admit only 21,000 by program year’s end on September 30th. If the Administration continues to welcome refugees at the current pace, only 15,000 refugees will be admitted in 2019, a staggering lapse for this once impactful program that welcomed nearly 85,000 refugees just two years ago.

“This decision not only hurts the U.S., but also hurts our Indianapolis community. The number of refugees Exodus has welcomed over the last two years continues to decline. While global refugee numbers have increased to more than 25.4 million, America’s response has been to offer hope to fewer and fewer people in their time of need. 753 people have effectively been blocked from resettling in Indianapolis due to these policy shifts. Relatives and friends now face more uncertainty and continued worry for their loved ones,” says Cole Varga, Executive Director.

Indianapolis is home for thousands of refugees including Mohamed O. Mohamed, a young man from Somalia who spent six years in a refugee camp in Kenya. He was resettled in Indianapolis by Exodus Refugee in 2010. Now, Mohamed is a United States Citizen with a bachelor’s degree in Public Financial Management from Indiana University Bloomington and works at Eli Lilly. “Being a refugee is not a choice. It’s a result of brutal violence and extreme poverty. Under the humane policy and the noble leadership of the United States, many people were given a lifetime opportunity to turn around their lives and I am thankful to be one of those,” says Mohamed.

Rather than lead on resettlement and relief efforts, the Administration has chosen to be a part of the crisis by declaring a war on refugees during the largest human displacement since WWII. We can and we must to more to welcome the most world’s most vulnerable people.

Requests for media interviews can be sent to Sara Hindi at shindi@exodusrefugee.org.

Exodus Refugee Immigration is dedicated to the protection of human rights by serving the resettlement needs of refugees and other displaced people fleeing persecution, injustice, and war by welcoming them to Indiana.