WASHINGTON, DC., October 2nd, 2020 —The Trump administration announced yesterday it will cut the refugee ceiling from 18,000 last fiscal year to 15,000 for fiscal year 2021—a new record low.

Kristie De Peña, Vice President for Policy at the Niskanen Center, Jorge Lima, Senior Vice President for Americans for Prosperity, and Kevin Hernandez, Policy Director for The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:

“For 40 years, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program has extended the American dream to millions throughout the world that were seeking refuge from persecution and conflict, and empowered them to contribute to our communities through the development of their talents and ambitions in pursuit of a better life. Our refugee resettlement program has made America an example to the rest of the world of the enrichment that can come to both natives and newcomers as a result of welcoming refugees to this land of liberty. 

Unfortunately, the continued cuts to the refugee admissions program undermine this long-held practice and ignores the immeasurable value that refugees bring to our local communities and our national economy. This latest reduction in resettlement—another cut to legal immigration—lessens our capacity to stand with the victims of persecution from authoritarian tyrants to socialist dictators.

In recent decades, presidents of both parties have recognized the domestic and international value of refugee resettlement and the role it plays in our country’s legacy as a protector of human rights. We urge the administration to work with Congress towards solutions that welcome those escaping persecution and protect the safety and health of the American people.

Our organizations support welcoming immigrants and refugees yearning for freedom and opportunity and we must remain committed to upholding this tradition.”


The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.