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Pingree Responds to Reports of Trump Administration’s Plan to Halt Nearly All Refugee Admissions

Washington, September 6, 2019

In response to reports that the Trump administration is preparing to ban nearly all refugee admissions for FY2020, Congresswoman Pingree (D-Maine) released the following statement:

We are in the midst of the greatest global refugee crisis since World War II, and the Trump administration’s response represents a total retreat from America’s values. 

Since taking office in 2016, President Trump has effectively zeroed out refugee admissions from many nations around the world torn apart by famine, political unrest, and war, including Afghanistan and Iraq. In Maine, we have seen a 98% drop in Afghan refugees and 97% drop in Iraqi refugees.

When President Trump and his advisors meet on Tuesday to determine next year’s refugee admission levels, I hope they’ll demonstrate some compassion for those fleeing unimaginable persecution, violence, and danger to seek safety in the United States.

BACKGROUND:

Since President Trump has taken office, refugee admissions from many countries have already been effectively zeroed out. Data below on number of refugees being resettled in Maine is according to Catholic Charities of Maine.

Pingree is supportive of legislation to allow Congress to set refugee quotas, rather than the president. Pingree is a cosponsor of H.R. 2146, the Guaranteed Refugee Admission Ceiling Enhancement (GRACE) Act, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’s (D-Calif.) bill to set a floor of 95,000 for annual admission of refugees. She is also a cosponsor of the Lady Liberty Act (H.R. 3376) by Congressman Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) which sets a floor of 110,000 refugees per year. 

Country of Origin

FY16

FY17

FY18

FY19

%Change

FY17-19

Afghan

40

13

1

1

-97.5%

Angolan

 

 

1

1

 

Burmese

 

 

 

3

 

Burundian

1

 

 

20

 

Central African

6

 

 

 

 

Congolese

130

56

50

89

-31.5%

Djibouti

1

 

 

 

 

Eritrean

3

4

1

 

 

Ethiopian

16

21

5

 

 

Honduran

 

6

 

 

 

Iranian

1

6

 

 

 

Iraqi

205

77

9

7

-96.5%

Kenyan

 

2

 

2

 

Pakistani

 

 

 

1

 

Rwandan

 

 

 

1

 

Somali

187

89

9

 

-100%

South African

1

9

 

 

 

Sudanese

9

11

 

5

 

Syrian

75

26

 

1

-98.65%

Welsh

 

 

1

 

 

Grand Total

675

320

77

131

-80.6%

 

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