RSN Statement in Response to Executive Order on Refugee Resettlement

A pdf version of this statement is available here.

On January 27, the White House issued an Executive Order with serious ramifications for refugees worldwide.

Refugee Solidarity Network (RSN) is deeply concerned about the Executive Order’s suspension of the US refugee admissions program, which eliminates an important and durable solution for those who have already undergone extensive vetting and have legally been found to be fleeing persecution and in need of international protection. The US resettlement program serves an important symbolic function in promoting greater global responsibility-sharing for historic levels of human displacement. The prospect of resettlement for qualifying individuals provides hope to people forcibly displaced from their homes. Measures curtailing safe and legal pathways drive more refugees to make irregular and often perilous journeys across borders.

RSN Executive Director Zaid Hydari says, "As we seek to improve conditions for refugees in first countries of asylum, our work is undermined by the US engaging in what amounts to a global race to the bottom, whereby governments are increasingly limiting access to territory for those in need of protection."

Amidst this troubling curtailment of resettlement and abandonment of moral and legal principle, the vast majority of the world's refugees continue to remain in first countries of asylum, like Turkey, where RSN focuses the bulk of its work. RSN has recently expanded its efforts to Bulgaria and Greece and is committed to maintaining and growing its programs abroad to ensure refugees enjoy a meaningful legal status and access to necessary services. In doing so, RSN continues its mission to facilitate refugees’ access to favorable durable solutions.  

"RSN will continue to work tirelessly in the field to ensure protection to refugees being hosted in record numbers. While the prospects for refugee resettlement may have diminished, the need to defend the rights of refugees in host countries has only become more urgent." 


Refugee Solidarity Network (RSN) is a US-based nonprofit that works to protect refugee rights worldwide by building capacity of local partners in key host countries, advocating for innovative rights-based refugee assistance policies and programs, and raising awareness of the refugee experience.

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