The International Institute of New England (IINE) condemns the Trump Administration’s newly-announced plan to permit no more than 15,000 refugees to enter the United States during Fiscal Year 2021, which starts today (October 1). Our nation can and should do so much better. Today’s announcement means that many refugees already living in the US, including our own clients in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, will go yet another year without reuniting with their children, parents, spouses, and other family members. It ignores our nation’s long history of welcoming persecuted people and represents yet another attack on the immigrant community.
In short, this decision is a blow to the 120,000 people already approved for admission to the United States, the vast majority of whom have spent years waiting for a chance to find permanent safety for themselves and their families. With more than 26 million refugees in the world today, the US is not only abandoning our historic commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced people, but we are limiting our ability to work with other nations to manage unprecedented levels of forced migration worldwide.
In the past 12 months, while adhering to all COVID-19 safety measures, IINE safely resettled 64 people who are beginning new lives in New England. The refugee admissions system has strict health and safety screenings in place both before and after a refugee arrives in this country and can safely receive many more displaced people, even in the midst of a pandemic.
We are heartbroken for the countless refugees who will not be able to access safety in the United States this year and for their loved ones who will continue to fear for them, and to miss them.
For those women, men, and children who do arrive as refugees in the coming year, we look forward to welcoming you and to providing the services needed to restart your lives in New England.