Washington, D.C. — Once refugees are resettled in the United States, they learn the new language, adjust to the culture, and strive to establish a new life here. But in the process, they also enrich and bring cultural and economic vibrancy to their local communities, according to a new CAP issue brief. By cutting the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States, the Trump administration is undermining the nation’s historic role as a beacon of freedom and ignoring the advancements of many aspiring Americans.
The brief shows that refugee arrivals under the Trump administration have dropped drastically from a recent high of nearly 85,000 in fiscal year 2016 to a low of 22,500 in FY 2018—a 74 percent decrease. Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan each experienced percentage drops of more than 95 percent in country arrivals since FY 2016. This is troubling given the rising global need for resettlement.
There is ample evidence suggesting that refugees in the United States do well across a variety of socio-economic indicators. A survey of recent arrivals shows: 67 percent of the refugees who are between ages 16 and 64 are in the labor force and work in a variety of different industries across the United States; English-language skills improved in just a few years of living in the United States. Over a decade, refugees contributed a net $63 billion to the national economy.
“Too often, stories such as these—of the successes and challenges of resettled refugees like Mohammed, Luma, and Najah—are left out of conversations about refugee policies,” said Silva Mathema, senior policy analyst of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress and author of the report. “Now, the historically low FY 2019 admissions ceiling means the country will no longer have the opportunity to be a part of many refugees’ journey to freedom and prosperity. The Trump administration must reverse its course of shrinking the resettlement program and re-establish the United States as a global leader in resettling refugees.”
Click here to read the brief: “Refugees Thrive in America: Trump Cuts the Number of New Arrivals Despite Advancements and Success Stories” by Silva Mathema
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