United Church of Christ

Trump Signs Dismally Low Refugee Goal

The United Church of Christ partner Church World Service has released a press release regarding President Trump and the setting of the refugee goal for fiscal year 2019. 

Trump Signs Presidential Determination with Dismally Low Refugee Goal

 Congress urged to hold administration accountable to meeting historically low 30,000 refugee resettlement goal for FY 19 

WASHINGTON, D.C - Today, President Trump signed a Presidential Determination setting the refugee admissions goal for Fiscal Year 2019 to 30,000 -- the lowest number in the history of the program. In response, Church World Service President and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough issued the following statement:

“Today’s heartless decision to further cut the refugee resettlement program does not reflect the values of people of faith across this country who welcome refugees into their communities and into their lives. We will continue to work together to prevent anti-refugee voices in the administration from destroying the public-private partnership built by people of faith to provide a lifeline to refugee families who have no other hope of safety. We urge Congress to hold the administration accountable by demanding that this meager resettlement goal be met and working to restore American leadership to address the global displacement crisis.

“The low number of refugees resettled in fiscal year 2017 should not be seen as a marker for U.S. capacity but as an indication of the dire effect that politically-motivated policies such as the refugee ban and unnecessary processing slowdowns can have on the process. With hundreds of thousands of refugees in the U.S. resettlement pipeline, the administration can meet its meager goal for 2018 without even batting an eye.”

The announcement came after months of pressure by refugee advocates, faith communities and resettlement organizations to bring the admissions cap to 75,000, much closer to the historic average.The required consultation with Congress occurred late Monday night with little opportunity for Congressional oversight on the proposed refugee goal.

The organization notes that the administration has the resources and ability to easily meet its stated goal of resettling 30,000 refugees, despite its failure to resettle even half of the refugee admissions goal for fiscal year 2018. As FY18 came to a close only 22,000 refugees had been admitted to the United States.

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), which was built as a private-public partnership between faith communities and the U.S. government, has maintained broad bipartisan support since its inception in 1980. The USRAP has successfully provided more than three million refugees tools for integration and self-sufficiency to start over in safety and U.S. communities have in turn benefited from these individuals. As a pillar of U.S. foreign policy, our nation’s resettlement program represents a standard of excellence that other countries look to as a touchstone for their own policies.

 As the world faces the worst displacement crisis in history, Church World Service will continue to work to advocate in solidarity with vulnerable refugees, and to provide essential services to displaced families around the world in response to the global migration crisis.

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org.

Faith leaders condemn 2019 refugee admission goal

RefugeeColumbus.jpg"A UCC minister in Columbus, Ohio is one of several faith leaders and local lawmakers standing in solidarity with members of the refugee community Thursday morning, September 20, as they shared their stories about resettlement in the United States. How the issue is about people, not numbers. Why the issue isn't about politics – it's about saving people's lives.

"The Trump administration's decision to slash the number of refugees welcomed in fiscal year 2019 to 30,000, the lowest number in U.S. history, is a moral abomination perpetrated by an administration which oft cites biblical references to undergird their decisions and preaches the value of family," said the Rev. Kate Shaner, minister of Mission, First Community Church UCC, Columbus. "The intentional decision to abandon the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters directly contradicts the Greatest Commandment, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and inflicts misery and despair on those already suffering."

The group took their message to the streets outside Columbus' local refugee resettlement office, Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), to call attention to the Administration's announced drastic cuts to the refugee program. After setting the lowest refugee admissions goal in history last year – 45,000 – and admitting less than half of that low number, the Administration plans to slash the number even further next year, during the worst refugee crisis in human history."

To read the full story written by Connie Larkman click here

Trump administration sets lowest refugee admission goal


From our refugee resettlement partner Church World Service:"The Trump administration has just set the refugee admissions goal for next fiscal year at 30,000 - the lowest level in U.S. history. This drastically low number will leave tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees without a chance at safety.

Communities around the country are prepared to welcome at least 75,000 refugees. Refugees are more than just a global figure; they are families torn apart, children who have witnessed profound violence, and people seeking a chance to rebuild their lives and raise a family in safety. Protecting vulnerable populations is not a zero-sum game; we can and should protect refugees and others fleeing violence or persecution. As people who care about refugees, we must make our voices heard and tell both the White House and Congress that 30,000 is inexcusable and that we must set a refugee admissions goal of at least 75,000. The White House is required under U.S. law to consult with Congress prior to setting the annual refugee admissions number. This has not happened yet, which means Congress can and must weigh in today.

Click here to be connected to your 2 Senators and 1 Representative

Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and I urge you to protect the refugee resettlement program. I am outraged that President Trump has set a new historic low for FY 2019’s refugee admissions goal at 30,000. Protecting vulnerable populations is not a zero-sum game; we can and should protect refugees and others fleeing violence or persecution. Refugee resettlement facilitates U.S. diplomatic, national security, and foreign policy interests. The White House is also required to consult with Congress prior to setting the refugee admissions number, but they have not done so. Congress must act. I urge you to do everything in your power to see the administration resettle at least 75,000 refugees in 2019 and to stop the administration from further dismantling the resettlement program. My community welcomes refugees, and I urge you to reflect the best of our nation by supporting refugee resettlement."

Feel free to share a personal story about standing in solidarity with refugees. Let them know the specific ways that refugees contribute and are welcomed into your community.

You can also tweet at your Senators and Representatives and the administration. Here are some sample Twitter and Facebook messages:

BREAKING: @SecPompeo just announced the LOWEST refugee admissions goal in history - 30k - putting the lives of vulnerable families in danger. We will not stand for this. @[MemberOfCongress]

BREAKING: @SecPompeo‘s announcement of the lowest refugee admissions goal in history - 30k - is an affront to the countless American communities who have welcomed refugees and understand that they are valuable members of their cities and towns. @[MemberOfCongress]

CWS's statement is available here. For more information, please visit: https://greateras1.org/act/


Ahli Arab Hospital provides right to health

Al_Ahli_Arab_Hospital_Gaza_(101)_copy.jpgGlobal Ministries’ partner, the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, provides high quality patient centered health care services based on the principle “Right to Health.”  This means that the hospital offers to serve all who seek treatment without prejudice to any religious or ethnic community and irrespective of social class, gender and political affiliation.  These services are delivered in a spirit of love and service, compassion and dignity for all.  Annual support for the Ahli Arab Hospital is part of the UCC’s global sustainable development ministries (through One Great Hour of Sharing).

This support is important today as the embargo of emergency fuel makes the United Nations fear a catastrophic breakdown in essential services such as hospitals and sewage disposal. This on-going relationship was important in May 2018 when violence against protestors required that the Ahli Arab Hospital upgrade its emergency and trauma services to ensure that injured patients with different injuries and fractures receive safe medical intervention within an acceptable time. Through additional emergency support the hospital obtained additional medicine, medical supplies, fuel for generators and support for doctors and nurses working non-stop with the injured and traumatized.

Become an immigrant welcoming congregation

Become_a_immigrant_welcome.jpgBecome an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation. Practice hospitality –embrace accompaniment – engage in advocacy. Asylum seeking families and others who have been forcibly displaced from their homes of origin are seeking safety in our midst. Participants in the Southwest Conference’s Week of Faithful Witness AT the Border between Arizona and Mexico are catalysts for our faithful witness of welcome throughout the U.S.

Economic and political violence brings surge of refugees to Morocco

Economic and political violence has created thousands of refugees who have now found their way to Morocco. Recently, over 600 migrants and refugees found shelter in the train station in the town of Fez. But in early July, the campsite was closed and evacuated due to a fire. On the same day of the fire, the large migrant and refugee camp in Casablanca was also evacuated.

Action Alert for Refugee Community Advocacy Month

This is a critical time.

As people of faith we know without a doubt that the face of God is in every refugee, asylum-seeker and sojourner in our midst, and we must make sure that our Members of Congress do everything they can to hold the Administration accountable for meeting the 45,000 refugee admissions goal and urge them to commit to resettling at least 75,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2019. The U.S. can resettle 75,000, and our communities want to welcome refugees.

Week of Faithfulness at the Border

The Southwest Conference is calling for a week of Faithful Witness at the Border, August 26 – 30, 2018 that will include:


Statements from UCC, Global Ministries partners and Worldwide organization about families seeking asylum in the United States 

Statements from UCC, Global Ministries partners and Worldwide organization about families seeking asylum in the United States 

Keep Families Together Update