Visiting Scholars | Global Refugee Symposium: Still a Refuge for the Tempest-Tost? U.S. Refugee Policy in the Age of Trump

Dr. Susan Martin, Donald G. Herzberg Professor Emerita in International Migration and founder of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, gave the keynote address on how the United States has a long history of leadership in addressing refugee crises. Since the end of World War II, US leadership has generally been a positive force for enhanced protection of refugees worldwide. That was not always the case, however. In the late 1930s, US refugee policy failed miserably to save millions of refugees from Nazi Germany. The State Department used a variety of administrative actions to restrict admissions from Europe, one such being a US sponsored international conference in Evian, France which failed to increase resettlement opportunities for refugees when the United States announced it would take no action to raise its own quotas. Hitler interpreted the failure at Evian to provide new homes for refugees as a go- ahead to take a continuing escalation of repressive measures culminating in the Holocaust. Read more here.