Press Release

Refugee Crisis Demands American Leadership

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the world refugee crisis and proposed restrictions on the U.S. refugee resettlement system:

The world is experiencing the largest refugee crisis since World War II and global humanitarian leadership is needed now more than ever. It is deeply troubling that certain lawmakers have chosen to turn their backs on people in need. We must not let the emotion and tragedy of recent events overshadow the fact that refugee resettlement saves lives and strengthens communities.

As a labor movement, we represent tens of thousands of refugee members, as well as the front line service providers who ensure that refugees are properly screened and have their basic human needs addressed. We urge unwavering commitment to provide support to those fleeing oppression and violence to build a better life among us. We will continue to call upon our government to live up to its obligation to meet the needs of refugee families, whether they be from Syria or right here in our own hemisphere.

I join working families across the United States in sending our thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris, Beirut, and all communities affected by the brutality of ISIS and global terror.  At the same time, we stand in solidarity with all those who face violent upheaval around the world and pledge to resist the xenophobic rhetoric of lawmakers who seek to prey on our fears to promote isolationist responses.

Contact: Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018