Washington, D.C. – Following World Refugee Day this week, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, with 32 colleagues, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen expressing their concerns about the severe drop in refugee admissions into the United States.
“We urge the administration to make every effort to increase the rate of refugee admissions to meet the number established by the presidential determination for FY18,” the senators wrote. “We are in the midst of the largest refugee crisis in modern history with nearly 22.5 million refugees worldwide, over half of whom are children. Refugee resettlement is only available to the most vulnerable – less than one percent of all refugees – when safe return or local integration is not feasible.”
“[D]espite the record-breaking level of displacement worldwide, the United States has admitted just 14,331 refugees in the first eight months of this fiscal year,” the senators continued. “Refugees are the most carefully vetted of all travelers to the U.S. They do not arrive in the U.S. without first clearing extensive biometric, biographic, intelligence, medical, and law enforcement checks, involving multiple agencies.”
The senators asked Secretaries Pompeo and Nielsen to answer a number of questions on refugee resettlement, including how many refugees the United States expects to resettle during the remainder of the year and what steps the administration is taking to increase refugee resettlement.
The text of the letter is available HERE.