WA Senator Maria Cantwell calls for full funding of refugee programs

WA Senator Maria Cantwell calls for full funding of refugee programs

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and 24 other senators called for money for programs affecting refugees and other vulnerable migrant populations Thursday. A letter, sent to the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee, follows President Trump’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2019, which, they say, again. seeks to slash funding for critical humanitarian programs.

According to Cantwell, President Trump’s proposed funding cuts would underfund key refugee resettlement accounts at a time when the world is grappling with the largest refugee crisis since World War II. The President’s proposed budget cuts the Refugee and Entrant Assistance (REA) program by nearly $200 million. The REA program helps refugees obtain employment, achieve economic self-sufficiency, and adjust to life in the United States. Trump’s budget request also eliminates the Emergency Refugee and Migration account, which allows the United States to respond to unforeseen humanitarian emergencies.

“The United States must not falter in its commitment to humanitarian aid when 65.6 million people are displaced worldwide and need help,” wrote the senators. “As you know, the United States has a proud tradition of funding life-saving humanitarian assistance, and such support is beneficial to both our country and the international community. It advances our national security interest by working to support humanitarian assistance in conflict zones, as well as the stability of our allies and partners hosting refugees – strengthening our strategic security goals. We are concerned that underfunding these accounts will create a funding void that may not be filled.”