Pompeo praises refugees, but doesn't mention US border crisis
Posted June 20, 2018 9:26 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commemorated World Refugee Day on Wednesday by praising the "strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees worldwide," but made no mention of the Trump administration's hardline enforcement against illegal immigration that has been widely criticized.
The statement did not refer to the current situation along the United States border with Mexico that has generated controversy as young children, including toddlers and babies, according to an Associated Press report, have been placed in shelters after being separated from their families who illegally crossed into the US.
The Trump administration is coming under fire for their treatment of asylum seekers along the southern border and has dramatically reduced US refugee admissions quotas.
Pompeo touted the assistance the US has provided to refugee crises playing out in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and said the US "will continue to help the world's most vulnerable refugees, reflecting the deeply held values of the American people."
The people and children being detained at the US southern border fall under the category of asylum seekers, as they are applying from US soil to stay within the US because of conditions in their home country.
Refugees, whose status is determined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, apply from their home countries or third countries and begin a lengthy process which might end in acceptance into the US after a number of years.
Pompeo's statement, which lauded the work of UNHCR, comes a day after the United States announced it was withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council.