• Press Release

Trump Callous Approach to Refugees Will Cost Lives

September 19, 2017

LAMPEDUSA, ITALY - MAY 24: Refugees and migrants are seen swimming and yelling for assistance from crew members from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) 'Phoenix' vessel after a wooden boat bound for Italy carrying more than 500 people capsized on May 24, 2017 off Lampedusa, Italy. Numbers of refugees and migrants attempting the dangerous central Mediterranean crossing from Libya to Italy has risen since the same time last year with more than 43,000 people recorded so far in 2017. In an attempt to slow the flow of migrants Italy recently signed a deal with Libya, Chad and Niger outlining a plan to increase border controls and add new reception centers in the African nations, which are key transit points for migrants heading to Italy. MOAS is a Malta based NGO dedicated to providing professional search-and-rescue assistance to refugees and migrants in distress at sea. Since the start of the year MOAS have rescued and assisted 3572 people and are currently patrolling and running rescue operations in international waters off the coast of Libya. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
CONTACT: Mandy Simon, [email protected]

NEW YORK – Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s remarks on refugees today at the United Nations General Assembly, Amnesty International USA called on the U.S. to do more, not less to address the global refugee crisis. Currently, more than half of the world’s 22.5 million refugees are hosted by just 10 countries — all in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, taking refugees in because they are neighbors to crisis.

The New York Times today reported on a study – which the White House sought to block – showing that refugees contribute more to the U.S. economy than they cost. Despite this, Trump is still expected to announce his decision to reduce U.S. refugee admissions before the end of the month. Amnesty International is calling for the U.S. to accept at least 75,000 refugees in 2018.

“President Trump’s callous approach to refugees will cost people their lives,” said Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA senior director of campaigns. “Refugees are ordinary people who have been forced to run for their lives. By turning its back on some of the world’s most vulnerable people, the U.S. is abandoning its rich tradition of welcoming people seeking safety. Not only that, with reports today that the White House is ignoring refugees’ positive contributions to the U.S. economy, it’s clear that the limits Trump is trying to set on resettlement are about politics and bigotry.”

Tomorrow Amnesty International and Sofar Sounds will join forces to produce Give a Home, a huge global refugee concert series that will consist of 300 shows in 60 countries with top musicians – many of whom will perform alongside refugee musicians. In the U.S., over 100 concerts will take place in one night, with music fans hosting thousands of others in their living rooms, garages and other small, intimate venues to stand in solidarity with refugees in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Nashville and many more. The money raised will support Amnesty International’s work to protect human rights here in the U.S. and around the world.