Refugee Congress Commemorates Anniversary of the First Muslim and Refugee Ban


WASHINGTONRefugee Congress released the following statement on the anniversary of the first Muslim and refugee bans and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz:

“Refugee Congress commemorates this week as the third anniversary of the first refugee and Muslim bans, the anniversary of accelerated actions putting asylum-seekers at risk, and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

As an organization built and led by refugees, asylum-seekers and other vulnerable migrants, we stand in solidarity with Muslim, refugee and asylum-seeker communities across the country and call for an end to these bans. We further call for our elected officials to remember the atrocities that took place in Europe 75 years ago and led to the establishment of refugee resettlement in the United States, and urge them to take action to protect and support our most vulnerable migrants today.

We value the diversity of this country and the important contributions of many different races, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. Refugees, asylum-seekers and other vulnerable migrants are assets to our communities, and contribute to the country economically and culturally in so many ways.

It is vital that we embrace our nation’s long tradition of welcome and support.”

On January 27, 2017, President Trump released an executive order that banned people from seven Muslim-majority countries and all refugees from entering the county for 120 days. Since then, the Administration has issued additional bans on people from Muslim-majority countries. Recently, the president has announced plans to expand the ban.

The Administration has taken steps to dismantle and undermine the popular refugee resettlement program. The Administration’s Presidential Determination for 2020 set a record-low refugee admissions cap at just 18,000. The historic average for yearly refugee admissions has been 95,000. An executive order released in September allowed states and localities to block refugee resettlement in their jurisdictions. A recent court injunction halted this allowance.

The Department of Homeland Security started implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols in January 2019, exposing asylum-seekers to violence and danger by returning them to dangerous border cities in Mexico.

Refugee Congress joins communities and advocates across the country in marking the anniversary of these actions and calling for protections and support for vulnerable migrants.


Refugee Congress is a nonpartisan advocacy organization built and led by former refugees, asylum-seekers and other vulnerable migrants to promote the well-being, integration and dignity of all vulnerable migrants. With delegates across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we use our voices and experiences to inform and influence decision-makers on critical domestic and international issues that affect our communities.

Kacy Kostiuk
Communications Manager
(202) 905-6238