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Arizona may welcome fewest number of refugees in four decades this year

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona is on track to have its lowest refugee resettlement numbers in nearly 40 years.

The numbers, provided by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, showed that Arizona has resettled 163 refugees so far in this fiscal year. The majority of refugees came from Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If the trend continues, the state will see a 87 percent decrease in refugee resettlement from two years ago and a 77 percent decline from just last year.

Stanford Prescott, community engagement coordinator for the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix told Fronteras that these are more than just empty statistics.

“The reality is that we work with families everyday where they are unable to bring their parents. Or they are unable to bring their children. Or they are unable to bring their spouses. They’re unable to bring their brothers and their sisters to come here to the United States. And instead they are left in countries where they are in danger, where they are at risk.”

The release of the numbers fell close to the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s first travel ban which was blocked by a multiple federal judges.

Since then, the Trump administration and U.S. federal judges have been at odds. This has led to three attempted travel bans, the latest of which has taken effect under the Supreme Court with further legal action to be decided.

The Supreme Court decision was hailed as a victory by the Trump administration.

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