1. Statement
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

FCNL Opposes New Measures to Dismantle Refugee Resettlement

By Yasmine Taeb, February 1, 2018

After the most recent refugee ban expired last week, the Trump administration announced on January 29 that it would institute additional vetting requirements for refugees from eleven countries, nine of which are Muslim-majority.

FCNL strongly opposes the administration's continued efforts to dismantle refugee resettlement through onerous vetting requirements that keep Muslim refugees out of the United States.

Back on October 24, President Trump announced a 90-day ban on refugees from eleven countries, citing the need to review vetting procedures. The eleven countries included Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This 90-day ban expired on January 24, and on January 29, the Department of Homeland Security announced certain policy changes in the refugee resettlement program. The government will resume resettlement from these 11 countries but will place additional security screenings on refugees from these countries. This is on top of the additional security screening measures and information requirements that were announced on October 24.

Yasmine Taeb, FCNL’s Legislative Representative for Human Rights and Civil Liberties, made the following remarks:

“These increased vetting procedures will not make our country safer; they serve only to hamper our refugee resettlement program. Once again, this administration cloaks its discriminatory policies in the guise of national security. Before any of the changes announced by this administration, our government’s vetting process for refugees was already one of the safest and most thorough in the world. Since 1975, the United States has successfully resettled more than 3 million refugees. Not one refugee has carried out a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, but instead, the administration has focused on a narrative that demonizes Muslim refugees as terrorists seeking to harm Americans. In reality, refugees are themselves fleeing violence and persecution, and we have a moral obligation to open our doors to them.

"The additional vetting and information requirements that were announced in October have massively slowed down our refugee intake. We already have the lowest refugee admissions goal in history at 45,000 for fiscal year 2018, and due to these new measures, it is likely we will only resettle 15,000 refugees. These extra security screenings will have the same effect of keeping out those people who need our help the most.”

Yasmine Taeb

  • Legislative Representative for Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Yasmine directs FCNL’s work on a number of human rights and civil liberties issues, including lobbying for increased resettlement of Syrian refugees, more transparency and oversight of the U.S. lethal drones program, calling for the closure of Guantanamo, and for the repeal of the 2001 AUMF, among other issues.