World Relief Jacksonville forced to consider layoffs because of immigration ban

By: Lorena Inclan , Action News Jax

Updated:

Plans for refugees already approved to come to Jacksonville are now on hold.

World Relief Jacksonville says President Donald Trump’s immigration order could also impact local jobs.

The organization says it may have to consider layoffs because of caps placed on the number of allowed refugees.

World Relief told Action News Jax that budgets are determined by the number of refugees they receive.

They’re looking into whether the organization should put volunteer groups on hold, or worse, let employees go.

Travis Trice with World Relief said the organization is working with two other resettlement agencies, along with Florida Coastal School of Law, to help educate people about the refugee program.

“I think there is a gross misunderstanding and a lack of knowledge from the general public,” Trice said.

Trice said one of his main concerns is that the refugee program will now be capped at 50,000 refugees, down from more than 100,000.

“It's devastating we're looking at layoffs,” Trice said. “We're looking at budget issues. We have volunteer teams from local churches and faith groups.”

A petition was posted outside of Rabbi Johnathan Lubliner’s office. His congregation takes in refugee families and helps them assimilate to America.

“I had the privilege of taking them to a super market for the very first time,” Lubliner said. “They were wide-eyed.”

He told Action News Jax that he’s not ignorant to the need for security concerns.

“As an observant Jew who has lived in Israel, I understand the threat of terror,” he said.

He says people need to understand refugees before judging them.

“This is not somebody who is a stowaway on a plane or a boat, and Americans need to understand that difference,” he said.

According to National Review, the cap of 50,000 refugees falls roughly in between a typical year of refugee admissions during both the G. W. Bush and Obama administrations. 

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