Today, the Trump administration officially set the annual admissions ceiling for refugees during the 2019 fiscal year at 30,000. This record low refugee resettlement cap comes at a time when the number of people—68.5 million—forced from their homes due to war, violence, and persecution is at a record high. On average, United States’ refugee admissions have exceeded 95,000 since 1980.
Said Jina Krause-Vilmar, CEO of Upwardly Global:
“At a time when the number of people forced out of their homes is at a record high, it is more critical than ever that the United States—a country founded by refugees and immigrants—remain a beacon of hope and opportunity. This heartbreaking decrease does not reflect our values as a nation, and we mourn the fact that more people across the globe will be in harm’s way because of it.
“Beyond fulfilling our global humanitarian responsibilities, welcoming refugees serves our country. Between contributing $63 billion to the U.S. economy over the last decade and having lower turnover rates than other employees, we know that refugees strengthen our workplaces. When we deny resilient, determined and skilled individuals the chance to put their talents to work here, we’re denying opportunities to transform our communities and our nation’s economy.
“As we redouble our efforts to serve newcomers—refugees, immigrants, and asylees—in building lives and careers in the United States, we ask that Congress find ways to support the call of corporations across the country to employ refugees in the professional positions that address our talent gap. We have seen first-hand that refugees are an asset to our communities and our economy and we should start treating them as such.”
Upwardly Global has helped over 5,500 immigrants and refugees secure professional positions, over half of whom filled STEM roles, that leverage their education, experience and skills and connect them to companies struggling to fill critical gaps in their workforce. Together, those that Upwardly Global has placed in jobs have generated 42 million a year in tax revenue and consumer spending. The organization has partnerships with businesses across the country, maintains a database of candidates for employers to access, and hosts training programs to help immigrant and refugee job-seekers integrate into the American workforce.