Wilmington, DE – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Judiciary Committees, released the following statement in response to reports that the Trump Administration is considering blocking all refugee admissions to the U.S. next year.

“I’m gravely concerned by reports that the Trump Administration is seriously considering completely shutting down our nation’s refugee resettlement program after sharply cutting it last year to fewer than 30,000 per year.  We have a proud history of welcoming refugees from around the world which has helped us earn our global reputation as a beacon of freedom for those fleeing persecution and oppression.  

“The main refugee resettlement agencies in our country are faith-based non-profits that support refugees as an expression of how welcoming the stranger in distress is a core part of many faiths and of our national history.  Shutting down all refugee admissions will do lasting harm to these vital agencies and their long legacies of charitable service.   

“In recent years, America has also welcomed thousands of brave Iraqi translators who risked their lives to help U.S. forces fighting in their home country through the refugee resettlement program, and they and many others who have waited years for admission to our country will be harmed by this abrupt change in policy.

“Turning away refugees will not make us safer, but will weaken our standing in the world.  The United States has in place thorough protocols to vet refugees, and the Administration should focus on real threats to our national security instead of turning away innocent men, women, and children fleeing persecution. I strongly urge the Administration to reconsider this decision and act to ensure our refugee program remains intact.”