Cut in Refugee Admissions: A False Trade-off that Undermines Protection of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

October 5, 2020

Washington, DC — Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is appalled at the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will cap refugee admissions into the United States for Fiscal Year 2021 at 15,000, a historic low during a time of historic need.

In addition, the Administration is shamefully conflating the U.S. refugee program with the U.S.-based asylum system.  Not only are they completely separate programs, but the Administration is working to virtually end the U.S. asylum system through a series of executive orders and regulations.

“It is not a surprise that the Trump Administration would stoop to a new low in refugee admissions, turning its back on the most vulnerable,” said KIND President Wendy Young, “But for the Administration to claim that the backlog of asylum cases impacts the number of refugees we allow into the United States rings false. Besides linking two different avenues of protection that are distinct under the law, KIND knows first-hand that the Administration is doing everything in its power to block asylum seekers from gaining fair access to U.S. protection. The reduction in refugee admissions is just the latest step in the effort to undermine our proud U.S. tradition of welcoming those fleeing violence and persecution.”


Media Contact: Megan McKenna,, 202-631-9990