Reuters is reporting that the Trump administration is telling refugee resettlement agencies that their services will be needed much less in the coming year – and that means some will shut down completely.
The U.S. State Department has told refugee agencies it will sharply pare back the number of offices across the country authorized to resettle people in 2018 as President Donald Trump cuts the number of refugees allowed into the United States.
The announcement was made at a Dec. 1 meeting in Washington with State Department officials and representatives from nine major refugee agencies, several executives of the agencies said.
Advocates said the decision is likely to lead to the closure of dozens of resettlement offices around the country, potentially leaving some refugees without access to services that help them integrate into American life. Several state refugee coordinators said they had also been made aware of the closures.
Refugee resettlement in the United States is handled by nine non-profit agencies that receive funding from the federal government for some of their refugee work. They partner with, or oversee, hundreds of local offices in nearly every state that help new arrivals with basic tasks like enrolling children in school, arranging doctors’ visits and applying for Social Security cards and other documents.
Now on the one hand, this is just fulfilling Trump’s promise to shut down refugee immigration into the U.S., but some say that the resettlement help them assimilate and without them they’re just going to have more problems adjusting to our country. That seems reasonable – we should probably support the ones who are here to make sure they assimilate, but I have no problem cutting down on the number we allow in.