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Columbus Advocates Worry About Trump Ending Refugee Resettlement

At a rally Tuesday at US Together, Julie Momoh tells her story about being a refugee.
Paige Pfleger
At a rally Tuesday at US Together, Julie Momoh tells her story about being a refugee.

Immigration organizers in Columbus are criticizing the Trump administration’s proposed cap on refugee resettlement.

The Trump administration isset to announcethe number of refugees that will be admitted to the country in 2020. Advocates worry that number will be lower than before, possibly even zero.

“Please. Citizens of America, beg government for us,” said refugee Julia Momoh at a rally Tuesday in north Columbus. “We need your help. Please don't allow him to stop this refugee program.”

Momoh was just admitted to the country a month ago. She lived in a refugee camp in West Africa for years, and witnessed the murder of her husband. Her children are still abroad.

“Please, I want to see my children,” Momoh said. “I want all my brothers from all of Africa, Nepal, Asia to be here and to be one again. We are suffering. They are killing us. Please, I’m begging you.”

Momoh and several other refugees spoke outside the offices of resettlement agency US Together on Dublin-Granville Road.

“You know what America is?” she asked the crowd. “It's a country that loves God, humanity, love, liberty. If you come to America you are hard-working. You will become what you want to be.”

This year, the administrationcut the number of refugee admissions by nearly a third, capping them at 30,000, their lowest number in the program's 38-year history. That was down from a cap of 45,000 in 2018.

The limits have led the closures of many resettlement agencies across the nation. In Columbus, immigration agencies have seen a big decline in the number of people resettled.

It's estimated about 8% of Columbus' total population is foreign born.