State Department Refugee Limit

In this June 20, 2017 file photo, Refugees and community activists gather in front of the White House in Washington. The Trump administration wants to cap the number of refugees admitted into the United States to the lowest number since the resettlement program was created in 1980. A State Department proposal released Thursday would put a cap on the number of refugees at 18,000 for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

Colorado Democrats are calling on the Trump administration to rescind its decision to limit the number of refugees allowed into the country.

A State Department proposal released Thursday would put a cap on the number of refugees at 18,000 for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, which would be the lowest number since the resettlement program was created in 1980.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter, Jason Crow and Joe Neguse co-wrote a letter asking for the decision to be reversed.

“Each day, an estimated 44,000 people are forcibly displaced from their homes due to violence, persecution or war. More than half of those individuals are children," the letter states. "The U.S. has a long history of resettling refugees who have fled persecution due to their religion, race, nationality, political opinion or social group."

The senators note that 30,000 refugees have landed in Colorado since 2000, which has provided economic benefit to the state. Between 2007 and 2017, refugees' economic input as created over $611 million in new income for Coloradans. That income generated 13,200 jobs, according to Department of Human Services data.

"Refugee workers fill critical gaps left by labor shortages in key industries in Colorado including manufacturing, hospitality and food preparation," the letter argues. "Reducing or eliminating refugee resettlements will adversely affect important industries in our state, hinder economic growth and drive up consumer costs."

The letter asks the Trump administration to increase the number of resettlements allowed.

"Refugees are an engine of prosperity and innovation that strengthen communities in Colorado and the United States," the letter states.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 1:36 p.m. Sept. 30 to correct titles of DeGette, Perlmutter, Crow and Neguse.

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