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United States: Bishops urge government to raise cap on refugee admissions

The president of the Committee on Migration of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Mgr. Joe S. Vásquez, has called on the US administration to raise the cap on refugee admissions to 75,000, after last week admissions reached the cap of refugees allowed in the US (50,000) for 2017. The incumbent presidency had issued an Executive Order in March 2017 lowering the cap from 110,000 to the current 50,000. On behalf of the Bishops, Mgr. Vasquez had already voiced the Church’s concern, but in a new letter dated 15 July, he expressed further concern about “the human consequences of this limitation and its impact on vulnerable refugees such as unaccompanied refugee children, elderly and infirm refugees, and religious minorities”. “These vulnerable populations will not be able to access needed protection and will continue to face danger and exploitation. We must be mindful that every refugee is more than just a number, they are a child of God”. The Bishops in their appeal reiterated that lowering the cap to 50,000 does not meet the real resettlement needs since refugees around the world are about 22 million, nor does this “reflect our compassion, and our capacity as a nation”. “We firmly believe that the United States has the good will, character, leadership, and resources to help more vulnerable people seek refuge”. The Church, on her part, “will continue to serve and stand in solidarity with refugees, welcoming and accompanying them on their journey to protection and safety”.

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