Sept. 27 CWS Press Release on Refugee Resettlement Program

September 28, 2017


On morning of the Trump administration’s consultation with Congress regarding refugee resettlement, leaders urge President Trump to set a goal of 75,000 for refugee admissions

Link to photos and video: Watch the video  Browse photos from the event

Washington, D.C. – Church World Service (CWS) and partners today hosted Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rabbi David Saperstein, Founder of Veterans for American Ideals Scott Cooper, Former Liberian Refugee Faith Cooper, and high level faith leaders for a press conference urging Congress to stop President Trump from shutting the door on refugees.

In light of credible reports that the Trump administration seeks to set the lowest refugee admissions goal in U.S. history,  Congresswoman Schakowsky and the other speakers gathered to express their opposition and moral outrage. In front of a Statue of Liberty image bearing a #RefugeesWelcome sign, the faith leaders symbolically opened the door to refugees who are seeking safety in the United States. Congresswoman Schakowsky stated unequivocally “Shame on us if this country does not open its doors to the millions and millions of people displaced by violent conflict around the world!”

“As a rabbi, I know all too well the disastrous consequences when the United States abdicates moral obligations and turns away refugees at its shores..” Said Ambassador Rabbi David Saperstein.

“As an American and as a Christian,” said Rev. Dr. Earl Trent, “I stand here today to say that we demand that President Trump and members of Congress act with compassion towards the 60 million displaced people worldwide.”

Senior Pastor at Lutheran Church of the Reformation Rev. Michael Wilker said “If we only welcome 45,000 refugees next year that would only be 0.002% of the global refugee population.”

“Together we can all action that refugees around the world are remembered by lifting the values of faith to welcome the stranger.” said Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of Refugee and Immigration Ministries.

After the faith leaders spoke, they opened a large door that had been placed in front of the U.S. Capitol, and symbolically welcomed Former Liberian Refugee Faith Cooper. She spoke about her experience leaving Liberia as young child who said “Remember refugees are families and children, looking for safety. If you don’t stand for them then who? If not now, then when?”

Scott Cooper, Founder of Veterans for American Ideals closed the conference by saying “Faith is the kind of person we want in our country… our country is richer because she is here.”

Co-sponsors: Church World Service, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Oxfam, HIAS, Human Rights First, Disciples of Christ, Refugee & Immigration Ministries, and Syrian Community Network

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at


Bilal Askaryar
Media Associate
Immigration and Refugee Program
Church World Service
110 Maryland Avenue, NE Suite 110
Washington, DC 20002