U.S. Abdicates Leadership Role with Historically Low 30,000 Refugee Admissions Ceiling | LIRS
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U.S. Abdicates Leadership Role with Historically Low 30,000 Refugee Admissions Ceiling

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U.S. Abdicates Leadership Role with Historically Low 30,000 Refugee Admissions Ceiling

September 17, 2018

Press Contact:
Danielle Bernard
dbernard@lirs.org; 410-230-2888

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the administration announced its intentions to set the annual admissions ceiling for refugees at 30,000 – the lowest ceiling in the history of U.S. refugee resettlement. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is profoundly disturbed that in a time of historic need, the administration would further abdicate its role as a leader on this crucial global humanitarian matter.

“This harmful action goes against the deep beliefs and faithful traditions of American Lutherans,” said Kay Bellor, Vice President for Programs at LIRS. “We have welcomed refugees because Lutherans were once refugees, too. We are called to love our neighbor and welcome the stranger. The administration’s actions are putting lives at risk when we stand ready to welcome those who seek refuge into our communities.”

LIRS and other resettlement agencies have strongly advocated that the U.S. offer safety and protection to at least 75,000 refugees for the coming fiscal year. Not only has this number been supported by Congress and aligned with historic averages, it is also supported by over 270 state and local leaders across the country.

“At this urgent moment of such disproportionate global displacement, we cannot turn our backs on those who need our help,” Bellor continued. “The United States is capable of far more.”

We call on Congress and the Administration to amend this determination in defense of American values and the thousands of Americans who expect more from this great country.


Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies in the United States. It is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating with refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. Through nearly 80 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.

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