Becca Heller Reflects on the Impact of Trump’s Refugee Cap and Expanded Vetting of Families Fleeing Persecution

Becca Heller (‘10), Co-Founder and Executive Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), was quoted in a New York Times article regarding the Trump administration’s overall cap on refugee admissions and the requirement that refugees provide phone numbers and addresses dating back ten years instead of five as reported by IRAP, presenting a considerable obstacle to families who may have been searching for a permanent residence for years (“Refugees Who Assisted the U.S. Military Find the Door to America Slammed Shut,” Oct. 18). “It creates a really convenient feedback loop if you actually don’t want to admit refugees.” Published last month, IRAP’s “Debunking ‘Extreme Vetting’: Recommendations to Build Back the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,” outlines steps to restore the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, urging government to uphold U.S. humanitarian commitments and to establish reforms that increase accountability, oversight, and transparency of its vetting processes, countering an intentional bureaucracy that traps tens of thousands of refugees from Muslim-majority countries in endless cycles of new vetting requirements and backlogs.