As war, violence, and persecution have driven a record-high number of people—68.5 million—from their homes across the globe, it is more critical than ever that the United States remain a beacon of hope and opportunity for refugees. Yet the Administration has announced that it will cut refugee admissions to just 30,000 in 2019—a heartbreaking decrease that does not reflect our values as a nation founded by refugees and immigrants. The record-low number represents a drastic reduction in the United States’ refugee admissions, which on average have exceeded 95,000 since 1980.
Upwardly Global knows first-hand that beyond fulfilling our global humanitarian responsibilities, welcoming refugees also serves our country. Refugees have contributed $63 billion to the U.S. economy over the last decade. Turnover rates for refugee hires in the U.S. are lower than for other employees. Refugees improve U.S. companies’ talent acquisition and management practices. In short, refugees make our workforce stronger.
At Upwardly Global, it has been an honor to assist nearly 3,500 refugees in rebuilding their professional careers. The resilient, determined refugees we have served through our job coaching program are now working as engineers, project managers, and healthcare professionals. Refugees’ contributions have transformed their workplaces, their communities, and our nation’s economy.
We know that cuts to the U.S. refugee resettlement program will mean that fewer of these skilled individuals will put their talents to work here. But beyond that, we mourn that fact that this record-low number will leave more people in harm’s way across the globe. Turning our backs on refugees does not represent the values of the Upwardly Global family—or the country that we all call home.
As we redouble our efforts to serve newcomers—refugees, immigrants, and asylees—in building lives and careers in the United States, Upwardly Global joins the growing call to welcome 75,000 refugees in 2019.
About Upwardly Global
Upwardly Global, founded in 2000, is the leading nonprofit organization in the U.S. helping work-authorized immigrants and refugees successfully translate their education, skills and previous careers into the U.S. workforce. To date, the organization has trained nearly 14,000 foreign-educated immigrants and has assisted over 5,600 individuals back into their career fields.