Reform Jewish Movement Decries Low Refugee Admissions Ceiling

October 1, 2020

Reform Jewish Movement Decries Low Refugee Admissions Ceiling

WASHINGTON – In response to the Trump administration’s announcement of an intended refugee cap of 15,000 for fiscal year 2021, a historic low, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement:

“Once again, the Trump Administration has proposed a record low refugee cap for the coming year, abdicating the United States’ moral and humanitarian responsibilities to welcome and protect refugees during the worst refugee crisis in global history. Over the last four years, this administration has cut refugee admissions ceiling far below the historic annual average of 95,000, resettling ever fewer refugees each year due to restrictive policies that make the already strenuous refugee resettlement process nearly insurmountable.

“Jews have known persecution since our early days as a people fleeing Egypt. We too know the consequences of closing our doors to those seeking haven from that persecution. We cannot and must not enable continued suffering by refusing access to the safer, more secure life that refugees seeking our help desperately need.

“We call on the administration to reverse this decision and urge Congress to reject this proposal and take all available action to restore the refugee resettlement program, ensuring the United States responds to the global refugee crisis with urgency, compassion, and moral clarity.”


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 850 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit for more.