Letter from Jewish Community, on the 2019 Presidential Determination for Refugee Admissions

August 15, 2018

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to you as 36 national Jewish organizations to urge you to set a refugee admissions
ceiling of at least 75,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2019. We have joined together to ask you to
continue the life-saving United States Refugee Admissions Program.

Our country has long been a leader in providing protection and assistance to those fleeing
persecution and violence. In fact, the American Jewish community owes its existence to the
times in our nation’s history when the U.S. welcomed refugees from all national and religious
backgrounds. It is because of our history as refugees, our biblical commandment to “welcome
the stranger,” and our longstanding involvement as a community in resettling and welcoming
refugees, that we call on you now to give today’s refugees a chance to rebuild their lives in
safety and freedom in the United States.

We are in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in recorded history, with 68.5 million people
displaced, 25.4 million of whom are refugees. In this critical moment, the U.S. government must
do more—not less—to support refugees, and resettlement is a key component of our
international response to this crisis.

Refugees resettled in the U.S. today exemplify what it means to be American. Refugees are twice
as likely than those born in this country to invest in and start businesses in their communities,
which not only makes them job creators, but has helped to reinvigorate communities across this
country. They also contribute billions to the U.S. economy, and millions in tax dollars for state
and local governments. These families purchase homes, invest in their children’s education, and
become civically engaged, all in pursuit of the same American dream that many of our own
families sought.

A Presidential Determination of at least 75,000 will not only save lives and strengthen American
communities, it will also demonstrate our strength and leadership to the world. As Jewish
organizations from across the country that stand with refugees, we urge you to support a safe and
strong U.S. refugee admissions program that represents the best of America.

Agudath Israel of America
American Conference of Cantors
American Jewish Committee (AJC)
American Jewish World Service
Anti-Defamation League
Association of Reform Jewish Educators
B’nai B’rith International
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
J Street
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish Women International
Jewish World Watch
Men of Reform Judaism
National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry
National Council of Jewish Women
Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
Orthodox Union
Rabbinical Assembly
Reconstructing Judaism
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Right Now: Advocates for Asylum Seekers in Israel
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
The Jewish Federations of North America
The Workmen’s Circle
Union for Reform Judaism
United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism
Uri L’Tzedek: The Orthodox Social Justice Movement
Women of Reform Judaism