JCPA, a network of 125 local Jewish community relations councils and 17 national Jewish agencies, has joined with 166 national, state, and local Jewish organizations and institutions in urging the United States to meet the refugee resettlement admissions goal of 30,000 for fiscal year 2019 and to return to historic norms next year.
In a letter delivered to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Wednesday, the group explained, “The United States has historically distinguished itself as a beacon of hope and as a safe haven for those who most need it. For nearly 40 years, the refugee admissions target averaged 95,000 per year, with actual admissions averaging 80,000 refugees per year. Despite this, the Administration set the admissions ceiling to a historic low of 30,000 refugees in FY19. Resettling zero refugees in the U.S. in FY2020 would effectively gut the refugee resettlement program, violate our values as Jews and Americans, and abdicate the American promise of freedom and opportunity.”
The letter also reminded of the Jewish historical connection to this issue, “As Jews, we know all too well what happens when people fleeing for their lives have nowhere to turn. Our parents or grandparents, neighbors or community members once faced a similarly callous and unwelcoming world, with fatal consequences. The Jewish community has a particular moral responsibility that compels our commitment to welcoming refugees.”