STATEMENT: Trump Administration Announcement to Slash Refugee Admissions and Destroy the Resettlement Program Without Required Congressional Consultation Is Illegal and Un-American, CAP Says

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Trump administration announced that it will set the Presidential Determination—the target for refugee admissions—to only 18,000 in fiscal year 2020, the lowest since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980. The administration also issued an executive order to bar refugee resettlement unless cities and states both explicitly and in writing approve of such resettlement.

In response to today’s announcement, Philip E. Wolgin, managing director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

At a time when there are more forcibly displaced persons than ever—including nearly 26 million refugees—it is unconscionable that the Trump administration continues to turn its back on the most vulnerable people. Every time we think we have seen the bottom with the Trump administration, we find out there is farther still to go. Allowing in a maximum of only 18,000 refugees makes a mockery of America’s historic place as a beacon of hope and freedom for those fleeing persecution and will only make meeting migration challenges around the world—including in the Americas— harder. The fact that the administration—for the third consecutive year—will issue the declaration without the congressional consultation mandated by law further illustrates the administration’s basic disregard for the rule of law.

Moreover, the executive order the administration issued today would effectively grind refugee resettlement to a halt and would be nearly impossible to implement. As with so many of the administration’s executive orders on immigration, the courts must step in immediately and shut down this illegal action.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at or 202.481.8145.