News Releases

Resolution comes on the heels of first anniversary of President Trump’s controversial refugee & Muslim ban and Administration’s significant cuts to refugee admissions 

Resolution: Decreasing refugee resettlement effort “would be inhumane and an abdication of United States’ leadership” 

Approximately 80,000 refugees currently reside in Washington state, making it among the top 6 states for refugee contributions 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined nine Democrats to introduce a resolution affirming the United States’ commitment to welcoming refugees from around the world, and calling on the Trump Administration to resettle more refugees in the United States. In the last 40 years, the United States resettled 80,000 refugees per year on average, but during his first year in office, President Trump’s Administration nearly halved the number to 45,000—the lowest refugee admissions ceiling ever set.

Since then, the Trump Administration has further hindered the country’s capacity to accept refugees and other immigrants, putting the United States Refugee Admissions Program on pace to only admit between 15,000-20,000 refugees this year. Decreasing the number of refugees in the United States would have a direct impact on Washington state, where studies show refugees acclimate quickly to local communities and make significant contributions to the economy and tax revenue: according to a recent report, Washington state is among the top six states for refugee contributions, generating approximately $242 million in state and local tax revenue and more than $2.1 billion in spending power.

“Time and again President Trump has doubled down on his divisive rhetoric about refugees with policies that undermine critical humanitarian efforts and ignore the United States’ role as a world leader,” said Senator Murray. “Our country has long stood as a symbol of hope and security for people around the world fleeing persecution from religious, political, ethnic and gender-based oppression and violence, and turning our backs on our global neighbors during one of the worst refugee crises in recent history flies in the face of who we are as a nation. I will continue working with my colleagues in the United States Senate to ensure that the front door of our nation remains open for any and all who are fleeing horrific violence and seeking to build a life in safety here in the United States—and urge President Trump to reverse his dangerous vision for America’s future.”  

A report from the New American Economy estimates that approximately 80,000 refugees currently reside in Washington state. Senators Murray and Cantwell have been vocal opponents of President Trump’s reckless targeting of individuals on the basis of religion or nationality, and in March 2017 introduced legislation to reverse President Trump’s reissued executive order restricting refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority nations in Africa and the Middle East from traveling to the United States.

Read the full text of the resolution HERE