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POTUS issues EO 13888, limiting refugee resettlement to state and localities consenting to receive refugees

  1. Date Announced

    Sept. 26, 2019

    The President, through Executive Order 13888, directs the State Department and Health and Human Services to develop a plan, within 90 days, providing that refugees will only be resettled in states and localities that have consented in writing to receive refugees. [ID #106]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Sept. 26, 2019
  3. Subsequent Action

    January 15, 2020

    A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking Executive Order 13888 in HIAS v. Trump (D. Maryland, 8:19-cv-3346). The Fourth Circuit heard oral argument in the government's appeal on Oct. 27, 2020.

    Opinion Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction in HIAS v. Trump
  4. Subsequent Action

    January 8, 2021

    The Fourth Circuit affirmed the District Court's preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the order.

    **Litigation is listed for informational purposes and is not comprehensive. For the current status of legal challenges, check other sources.**

    Hias v. Trump, No. 20-1160 (4th Cir., Jan. 8, 2021)
  5. Biden Administration Action

    February 4, 2021

    This Biden administration policy revokes in its entirety the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On 2/4/21, President Biden issued an Executive Order revoking certain past presidential actions on refugee admissions and resettlement (including the Presidential Memorandum of March 6, 2017) and directing government agencies to take steps to improve the refugee program; including to create a plan to address processing backlogs, to complete a review of the Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa programs, and to submit a report on climate change and its impact on migration.

    Executive Order on Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration
Type of Action: Presidential Orders
Subject Matter: Refugees

Prior Policies

  • Under previous administrations, the State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) has coordinated the admission and allocations of refugees to specific cities and resettlement agencies, in conjunction with national voluntary agencies that oversee a network of some 250 affiliates in 49 states plus the District of Columbia through the Reception & Placement Program. The HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement has been tasked with ensuring refugees are placed in locations where there are appropriate services and resettlement conditions but there were no geographic limitations on where refugees were resettle internally within the United States.

    The U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program – an Overview

Subsequent Actions

Biden Administration Action

Other Documents

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