Vasquez urged President Trump and Congress to "work together to restore U.S. refugee resettlement to at normal, historical levels."
Catholic Charities USA said Sept. 27 that the organization "strongly opposes yesterday's action by the Administration to historically reduce the number of refugees welcomed into the United States, a record low since the program began in 1980."
"We call upon the Administration to consider the refugee resettlement program's mission to provide protection to those in need for humanitarian reasons. The program should return to consistent refugee numbers rather than focus primarily on its use for partisan-based purposes," Catholic Charities said.
Catholic Relief Services, which exercises humanitarian ministry around the world, was similarly opposed to the proposed cap.
"The world depends on the United States taking in its share of the 26 million vulnerable refugees," said CRS executive vice president for Mission and Mobilization Bill O'Keefe in a statement.
"How can we ask a country like Uganda, a developing country smaller than Wyoming, to take in a million South Sudanese refugees unless we step up and take in at least 95,000 of the most vulnerable?
"Fundamentally, we are talking about other human beings – children and families – seeking safety and a decent life. Admitting refugees reflects the values on which this nation was built, the teaching of Christianity and other faiths, and basic human decency," he added.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services acting Director Ken Cuccinelli told reporters Friday that persecuted Christians seeking refugee status in the U.S. will be turned back if they seek to bypass the refugee cap by seeking asylum at the border.
"I take issue with how you ask your alleged question," Cuccinelli said, before clarifying that the administration will "turn them back" if persecuted Christians attempted to walk across a national border in order to claim asylum in the counry.
The United States' refugee ceiling remained relatively stable from the fiscal years 2000-2016, at around 70,000 annually. In his last year in office, President Barack Obama raised the ceiling to 110,000 for the fiscal year 2017.
President Trump moved to limit the number of refugees who were admitted to the United States as one of his first acts in office. The United States averaged about 67,000 new refugee admissions each year until Trump took office, and that number has since been repeatedly lowered.
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Christine Rousselle is a former DC Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. Prior to working at CNA, she was the managing web editor of Townhall.com; she has a BA in political science from Providence College.