The Washington Post is reporting on how the fallout from Trump’s executive order is affecting church-run refugee resettlement programs. World Relief, an evangelical-run organization that is one of nine which work with the United Nations, is cutting 140 jobs and closing five of its centers, calling it “a direct result of the recent decision by the Trump Administration.”
Episcopal Migration Ministries is one of those nine affected.
The U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program combines partial funding from the federal government to cover the costs of resettling new refugees with money raised by nonprofit agencies. Most of the agencies are religious, including World Relief and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which raise funding from donors and churches and organize volunteers.
For instance, the Episcopal Migration Ministries was expecting $14.2 million from the U.S. State Department and $6.2 million from the Department of Health and Human Services, according to spokeswoman Kendall Martin, and they are working to raise private support. On Feb. 8, Martin said, the Episcopal Church’s executive council gave the agency $500,000 to provide a financial bridge during Trump’s ban.
In 2015, World Relief received about $42 million in government grants, which made up nearly three quarters of the ministry’s total revenue of $62 million, according to the ministry’s latest available Internal Revenue Service filings. It will shutter offices in Boise, Idaho; Columbus, Ohio; Miami; Nashville; and Glen Burnie, Md.
Trump’s capping of refugee intake at 50,000, rather than 110,000, is a major factor. And the job loss goes deeper than able bodies.
World Relief President Scott Arbeiter said in a statement that the layoffs will impact many staff members who brought specific expertise to helping refugees. For instance, many of their employees speak languages not widely spoken. “This represents a loss of more than 140 jobs — which by itself is deeply troubling — but also decades of organizational expertise and invaluable capacity to serve the world’s most vulnerable people.” Breene said.