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Trump Is Admitting So Few Refugees This Florida Resettlement Agency Is Shutting Down

Many refugee advocates fear it will take years to come back from Trump’s effect on refugee admissions

by Joshua Hersh and Belle Cushing
Aug 12 2019, 3:16pm

On a recent Saturday morning, a couple hundred refugees were at the offices of World Relief, in Jacksonville, Florida, rifling through a warehouse full of unneeded supplies.

In better times, the dishes and mattresses and bookshelves stored here would’ve helped furnish a home for a newly arrived refugee. But since the Trump Administration clamped down on refugee admissions, there haven’t been a lot of new refugees coming to Jacksonville.

And that means that organizations like World Relief, which has served refugees in Florida for over 30 years, are being forced to shut down operations.

“It's the money,” said Elaine Carson, the founding director of World Relief’s Jacksonville program, on one of the office’s final days. “Our funding was per refugee. So for every refugee, we got, the more money we had to be able to have staff and be here. But we don't have the money anymore.”

VICE News was there for the final days of operations at World Relief in Florida, to find out what the steep dropoff in refugee admissions means — not just for Jacksonville, but for the entire infrastructure of refugee operations in America.

This segment originally aired August 1, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.