Advocacy, Refugee and Immigration Services
US-together3-768x412
08/06/2019

Columbus Region Opposes Potential Cessation of Refugee Resettlement Program

In the Columbus Region, we are proud of our country’s history of embracing refugees.

Over three million people seeking refuge have been welcomed to the United States since 1980, including 17,000 in Franklin County. We are proud that the Columbus Region is their new home, and we are grateful for their numerous contributions that enrich all of us: Culturally, our community is as diverse and dynamic as it has ever been, and financially, refugees are generating an annual economic impact of $1.6 billion.

This extraordinary impact began with landmark bipartisan legislation. The U.S. Refugee Act of 1980 created the Refugee Resettlement Program, and formalized and elevated America’s embrace of our “traditional role of safe haven for those who flee or are forced to flee their homes because of persecution or war.”

In recent years, however, refugee resettlement has been under duress: The Trump Administration placed a historically low cap on refugees admissions in 2018, and lowered the cap further—to 30,000—for 2019. And last month, reports surfaced that the Administration has been contemplating a sweeping final step: the complete cessation of refugee resettlement in 2020.

This would be an unprecedented decision, and a particularly deleterious one: There are more refugees worldwide today than at any moment in human history.

In Columbus, we come together in critical moments. This is just such a moment: We are proud to oppose cessation of the refugee resettlement program because we recognize not only the cultural and economic imperative of welcoming refugees, but the moral and historical imperative as well.

In the interim, we will continue supporting the refugee community that has shaped the Columbus Region into what it has become: a community that embraces those new and old to our nation’s shores; a community that is strong because it is diverse; a community of all of us, and for all of us.

Signed:

Human Service Chamber of Franklin County
United Way of Central Ohio

Elected Officials
> Mayor Andrew Ginther
> Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce
> Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown
> Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady
> Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin
> Council City Council President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown
> Columbus City Councilmember Rob Dorans
> Columbus City Councilmember Shayla Favors
> Columbus City Councilmember Emmanuel Remy

HSC Member Agencies
> Action for Children
> Besa
> Catholic Social Services
> Central Community House
> Columbus Early Learning Centers
> Community Refugee & Immigration Services
> Directions for Youth & Families
> Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services
> Equitas Health
> Godman Guild Association
> Jewish Family Services
> North Community Counseling Centers
> South Side Early Learning
> US Together
> Welcoming City