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September 19, 2017

Response to Trump Refugee Claims at U.N.

New York City—In response to President Trump’s United Nations General Assembly address, in which he falsely claimed that resettling one refugee is as expensive as supporting ten individuals in frontline countries and cited a now-disputed study that outlined the cost of resettling refugees, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer released the following statement:

“By attempting to pit support for frontline-hosting states and support for refugees in need of resettlement against each other, the president is presenting a false and short-sighted choice.

“The United States cannot simply write a check; it must provide actual leadership. We must make clear to the countries that continue to host the overwhelming majority of the world’s refugees that the United States truly stands with them. We must demonstrate this commitment by helping to host at least a small portion of the millions of refugees in the world who desperately need resettlement. By abdicating this leadership, the United States contributes to global instability, leaves allies in the lurch, and ultimately thwarts U.S. interests.”

This kind of leadership is not only a reflection of American ideals, it also advances U.S. national security.”

This morning a New York Times article revealed that Trump Administration aid Stephen Miller suppressed portions of a Department of Health and Human Services report that found that refugees contributed an estimated $63 billion in net government revenue through federal, state and local taxes over a ten-year period, in an effort to bolster the administration’s argument for banning refugees. The president cited similar arguments during his speech before the General Assembly.

For more information or to speak with Acer contact Corinne Duffy at duffyc@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.