Advance Notice: Briefs

Whitmer denounces Trump plan to clamp down on refugees

By: - October 4, 2019 1:34 pm

Gretchen Whitmer (left) and Donald Trump (right)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office released a statement Friday condemning the President Trump administration’s recent plan to cut the number of asylum-seeking refugees allowed to resettle in the United States almost in half. 

Protestors rally against President Donald Trump’s recent executive order halting refugee admissions for 120 days and banning entry to the U.S. for citizens of seven predominantly-Muslim nations, at Reagan National Airport, February 1, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the statement, Whitmer outlines her strong opposition to the decision and says that Michigan will remain a welcoming state to refugees.

“Refugees have and continue to enhance our state socially, culturally, and economically,” Whitmer said. “… I am committed to ensuring that we remain a leader in responding to the needs of globally displaced families and individuals.”

On Sept. 26, Trump released his presidential determination on refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2020, ordering that the admission ceiling be lowered to 18,000 refugees due to “humanitarian concerns.”

This number is a stark departure from previous years. The current 2019 refugee admissions cap of 30,000 already marks the lowest number in the history of the resettlement program, which began under former President Jimmy Carter in 1980 and has had an average cap of 95,000 from that year up until 2017.

The statement from Whitmer also mentions Trump’s concurrent Sept. 26 Executive Order, which would have cities and states have to either provide written consent to allow refugees to settle in their areas or decide to opt out of the program entirely.

“I fully anticipate that our local communities and jurisdictions will continue to support the resettlement and welcoming of refugees as our new neighbors, and stand ready to do all that I can to support these vitally important efforts,” Whitmer said.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).