Washington (Agenzia Fides) - On Wednesday evening, the US State Department released its report to Congress recommending the admission of a maximum of 15,000 refugees to the United States in 2021. The report is the first step towards the President's signature on the new refugee provision, which by law is required by Congress to deliberate and express its views by September 30th. The historical average of previous annual refugee admissions is 95,000.
There has already been a sharp decline in refugee admissions during the Trump administration, with a historic low of only 18,000 refugees last year.
"We continue to be disappointed by the Trump administration’s diminishment of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, as these decisions have a tangible impact on those fleeing religious persecution and other vulnerable families in need of refuge. Given the global need and the capacity and wealth of the United States, the reduction in the number is heartbreaking", reads a statement signed by His Exc. Mgr. José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ( USCCB), and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and Chairman of the USCCB Migration Committee. "We urge Congress to seriously examine the administration’s proposal and strongly encourage the President to increase the eventual presidential determination significantly".
"Welcoming refugees is an act of love and hope. By helping to resettle the most vulnerable, we are living out our Christian faith as Jesus has challenged us to do", it continues.
"Five years ago, during his apostolic visit to the United States, the Holy Father, Pope Francis addressed the Congress observing: Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ … The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us", said the Bishops.
"With this in mind, we urge the government to continue welcoming refugees in our country. We can and must set an example of protecting all human life, including those fleeing persecution", the statement concluded. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 3/10/2020)