• Press Release

Refugee Admissions Numbers are a New and Shameful Low

July 18, 2019

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Responding to reports that some in the Trump Administration are considering lowering the number of refugees to be admitted through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to zero for the coming fiscal year, Ryan Mace, the grassroots advocacy and refugee specialist for Amnesty International USA, said:

“The United States used to be a leader in providing refuge to those in need, all around the world. We can’t say that anymore. It is beyond shameful and a new low, even for this administration, to even consider accepting no refugees to the U.S. 

“People are in need all over the world – families, children, human beings with unique stories and lives on hold. Zero will never be an acceptable number for any country let alone a country with so many resources and people willing to welcome new neighbors looking to rebuild their lives in peace and safety.

“We call on every member of Congress and their community to speak out for those seeking safety and welcome refugees into their neighborhoods, schools, houses of worship, and homes.” 

Amnesty International USA also calls for the United States to admit at least 95,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2020. 


Every year, the President determines the number of refugees who should be resettled to the U.S. in the upcoming fiscal year, signaling U.S. commitment to protect those fleeing violence, war, and persecution.

The United States is on track to resettle 30,000 refugees this year, the lowest refugee admissions goal in the history of the program. Of the 70 million people displaced around the world, over 1.4 million people are identified as needing access to resettlement.  A small fraction of those in need will ever be resettled. The Department of Homeland Security has already successfully interviewed nearly 30,000 refugees, with nearly 9,000 more ready for travel.  

Prior to last year, the yearly refugee admissions goal since 1980 averaged 95,000 persons to be accepted per year.