Refugee resettlement in the United States was dealt a tremendous blow with the news on Thursday, September 26, that the White House intends to admit only 18,000 refugees in the coming fiscal year, the lowest ceiling in U.S. history.  Last year, the president set the number at 30,000, Historically, the program has averaged an admissions ceiling of 95,000.

To slam the door on persecuted people while the number of refugees displaced globally continues to rise to historic levels upends decades of bipartisan tradition. It also abandons thousands of persecuted people in need of resettlement, leaving them in precarious, often life-threatening situations. Refugee resettlement assures that at least some of those forced to flee their homes have a safe and legal pathway to refuge in the United States. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is a crucial element of our nation’s humanitarian, foreign policy and national security strategies and reflects American history and values.

JVS has a proud 70-year history of welcoming refugees to Kansas City, starting with supporting Holocaust survivors in the aftermath of World War II and continuing to its work today helping families from across the globe who are fleeing persecution and are seeking a safe haven through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

In our work across the Kansas City metropolitan area, we see strong support for refugee resettlement among community volunteers, local employers, faith-based partners, and civic institutions. Refugees strengthen our communities and our country socially, culturally, and economically. Despite these lower numbers, we will continue to help resettled refugees rebuild their lives, and our community will continue to reap the tremendous benefits of being a place of welcome.

We oppose the White House’s plan to drastically lower refugee admissions because it condemns so many to endless suffering. In the coming weeks, the President will consult Congress before making a final determination of the refugee ceiling. Join us to urge our leaders to return to traditional refugee admissions levels.  With your help, JVS will continue to educate policymakers and the public about the economic, moral, and cultural contribution we gain by providing support and welcome so every member of our society can thrive.

Learn -Key facts about Refugees in the U.S. from Pew Research

People who want to keep their neighborhoods multicultural and their cities growing should get their local leaders to sign this letter.

Download: City letter template

Refugees stay with their employers longer, resulting in a demonstrably lower turnover rate than other employee cohorts. In addition, refugee employees tend to help employers recruit other workers.

Read Report: TENT, Fiscal Policy Institute study, 2018

Employers who see the economic value of refugees in their businesses can sign on to this letter of support.

Download: Employer support letter template

Once they are resettled, refugees learn the new language, adjust to the different culture, and strive to establish a new life. But in the process, they also enrich and bring cultural vibrancy and diversity to their local communities.

Read Report: Center for American Progress Issue Report, 2018

People who think the U.S. has a moral obligation to welcome refugees should encourage their U.S. Reps and Senators to sign on to the GRACE Act.

Download: GRACE act letter template

Please support JVS as we continue to serve refugees in Kansas City. Your financial contributions are more important than ever!


Thank you for your gift to JVS. You make our work possible.