Pompeo releases statement marking World Refugee Day

Pompeo releases statement marking World Refugee Day
© Greg Nash

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoEx-Watergate prosecutor says evidence in impeachment inquiry 'clearly' points to Trump Pompeo rejects idea that the United States abandoned Kurds Mike Pompeo's Faustian bargain MORE on Wednesday issued a statement acknowledging the "courage" and "resilience" of refugees for World Refugee Day as the Trump administration faces heavy criticism over its family separation policy.

In a statement, the secretary touted the State Department's commitment to helping refugees, noting that the U.S. remains the top world provider of humanitarian assistance.

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"The United States provides more humanitarian assistance than any other single country worldwide, including to refugees," Pompeo wrote. "In FY 2017 alone, the United States provided more than $8 billion in life-saving humanitarian assistance, which included food, shelter, healthcare, education, and vocational training and livelihoods to tens of millions of crisis-affected people worldwide, including refugees."

"This commitment to the world’s most vulnerable individuals remains a critical component of America’s national security policy," Pompeo added.

Pompeo went on to pledge the agency and the U.S.'s "tireless efforts" towards helping refugees and other persecuted peoples in the future.

"Through active humanitarian diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, and tireless efforts to end conflicts and achieve durable solutions for persecuted people around the world, we will continue to help the world’s most vulnerable refugees, reflecting the deeply held values of the American people," he said.

Pompeo's statement, which coincided with the U.N.'s recognition of the 18th annual World Refugee Day, comes amid bipartisan criticism of the Trump administration's “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which mandates that all adults who cross the border illegally be prosecuted.

The policy has resulted in thousands of migrant children being forcibly separated from their parents, who are in many cases seeking asylum from war or other conditions in their home countries.