In response to reports that advisers to the president have recommended a refugee ceiling for fiscal year 2020 at or near zero, which would effectively end the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program, NAE President Leith Anderson and other evangelical leaders urged President Trump to instead set the refugee ceiling at 75,000 or higher, in line with historic norms.

The letter to the president notes that the refugee resettlement program has long been a lifeline for persecuted religious minorities, including Christians from countries such as Iraq, Iran and Syria.

The letter concludes, “We urge you to reinvigorate the U.S. refugee resettlement program, not dismantle it. It is a lifeline for those fleeing persecution — whether because of their faith, their political opinion, their ethnicity or any other reason outlined in U.S. law. We pray you will reject any advice to shut the refugee resettlement program down, and that your administration will not merely continue the program at its current, vastly reduced level. Instead, we ask that you allow our country to continue to be a beacon of safety and freedom for those fleeing persecution.”

The Evangelical Immigration Table invites evangelical Christians to add their names to the letter, and plans to resend the letter with additional signatories in the coming days.