Michigan Governor Whitmer Statement on Trump Administration Plans to Reduce Number of Refugees for U.S. Resettlement

LANSING, MI (STL.News) Friday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement commenting on the Trump administration plans to dramatically reduce the number of refugees that would be allowed to resettle in the United States:

“I strongly oppose the administration’s decision to dramatically lower the number of refugees we allow into our country. Refugees have and continue to enhance our state socially, culturally, and economically.  As I have stated before, I am proud that Michigan is recognized as one of the most welcoming states in the country, and I am committed to ensuring that we remain a leader in responding to the needs of globally displaced families and individuals.  I fully anticipate that our local communities and jurisdictions will continue to support the resettlement and welcoming of refugees as our new neighbors, and stand ready to do all that I can to support these vitally important efforts.  While we wait for additional details to come out in the next 90 days, Michigan’s State Refugee Coordinator and our Office of Global Michigan will work with local communities to provide compliance assistance so that they can continue the welcoming work in which they are already engaged.”

On September 26, the White House released the presidential determination for refugee resettlement for Fiscal Year 2020, lowering the refugee resettlement goal from 30,000 to 18,000.  In previous years, refugee goals were set between 75,000 – 95,000.  With over 70 million forcibly displaced individuals worldwide, this number is significantly below what the United States could welcome into our communities.  The White House also released an Executive Order (EO), “Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement,” with the intent of expanding the authority of state and local jurisdictions to decide to resettle refugees in their states and communities.  Specifically, the EO states that if a State or locality has not provided consent to receive refugees under the Program, then refugees should not be resettled within that State or locality.