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Pompeo Hails World Refugee Day as Refugee Admissions Plummet

As domestic and international criticism of the Trump administration’s border policies intensifies, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commemorated World Refugee Day, vowing in a statement to “continue to help the world’s most vulnerable refugees, reflecting the deeply held values of the American people.” Pompeo touted the U.S. record of financing humanitarian assistance to “crisis-affected people worldwide, including refugees,” and honored the “strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to persecution and conflict.” Yet amid a global migration crisis, Oxfam noted Tuesday that U.S. refugee admissions are “at the lowest level in U.S. history” and harshly criticized the Trump administration’s choice to run the State Department’s migration bureau as an “anti-immigration extremist.” While Pompeo praised the U.S. for its “steadfast commitment to getting life-saving support to Syrians,” the U.S. has resettled only 13 Syrian refugees so far this year, a 99 percent drop from 2017. Under the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, it is separating babies, toddlers, and children from their migrant parents with scant information available for reuniting families. —Spencer Ackerman