Letters to the editor: July 31, 2019


Drastic cuts in number of refugees admitted puts vulnerable people at risk

Your July 24 editorial “Go Back to Decency” notes the role of groups such as the International Institute in “help(ing) newcomers find security and peace in their new home.” Unfortunately, this work is threatened by recent actions of President Trump. 

After steadily lowering the cap on the number of refugees resettled in the United States, from 95,000 in 2017 to 45,000 in 2018, down to 30,000 in 2019, the Trump Administration has signaled an intent to admit no refugees whatsoever in 2020. Such refugees are highly vetted, and have contributed in innumerable ways to their host cities. 

In a written statement, the International Institute has called on the people of St. Louis to “raise their voices for the voiceless” in opposing this reduction. The group notes that, “The cut in resettlement numbers puts the lives of thousands of vulnerable people around the world at risk, including religious and ethnic minorities, Afghan and Iraqi allies, and victims of torture and gender-based violence.” Likewise, the aid group HIAS has condemned this action, stating that, “With more than 70 million people displaced worldwide, not resettling one single refugee would be a shameful abdication of our nation’s historic leadership in this area.” 

It is critical that we stand with these organizations and call on the president and Congress to allow for the admission of refugees at levels consistent with their historical numbers.

Greg Campbell, Creve Coeur