CVT: Trump Administration Decision to Slash FY2019 Refugee Admissions is an Attack on Hope | Center for Victims of Torture

CVT: Trump Administration Decision to Slash FY2019 Refugee Admissions is an Attack on Hope

Friday, October 5, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn. & WASHINGTON — The Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT) today decried the Trump Administration’s decision to set the Fiscal Year 2019 refugee admissions ceiling at 30,000, a historic low.

“Many of CVT’s clients—refugee torture survivors from around the world—have endured on hope,” said Curt Goering, CVT’s executive director. “They’ve suffered unspeakable loss yet somehow found the strength to travel unimaginable journeys in the hope that they might someday have a chance, just a chance, to rebuild their lives. The President’s decision takes that chance away from thousands, and attacks the hope that sustains millions. It’s a shameful act.”    

The Administration’s decision is the latest of its attacks on the U.S. refugee resettlement program, all of which have come during the worst global displacement crisis on record. The decision is all the more heartbreaking given the extent to which the refugee crisis is a torture crisis: based on research conducted by CVT, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement estimates that as many as 44% of refugees living in the United States are torture survivors.

In September 2017, the Administration set a refugee admissions goal for FY2018 at a then-historic low of 45,000. It has since layered a host of onerous vetting requirements on top of an already rigorous vetting system at the same time as it has reduced our government’s refugee processing capacity. These actions are designed to achieve the same objective as the newly announced FY2019 refugee ceiling: drastically limit the number of refugees our country welcomes. Indeed, despite the 45,000 ceiling, the Trump Administration admitted less than 23,000 refugees in FY2018.     


The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit

Jenni Bowring-McDonough
jbowring [at]

Media Contact

Pam McCurdy
Media Relations Strategist
pmccurdy [at]




We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

Read More


We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

Read More


We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

Read More