Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, M.P.A.


Dr. Laurie Buonanno

Second Reader

Dr. Suparna Soni


On March 6th, 2017 President Trump signed Executive Order 13780: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into The United States. This effectively lowered the refugee admissions cap by more than half and thus had an impact on the work of local refugee resettlement organizations. This change is especially relevant to Buffalo, as the city has a significant refugee population which relies on these organizations for various services. There are many components which must be taken into consideration in order to understand how this public policy has tangible impacts on local resettlement organizations. International refugee law and domestic refugee policy set the framework for how these organizations interact with one another and with government. The U.S. federal government is responsible for adhering to the 1951 United Nations Convention Related to the Status of Refugees. The Refugee Act of 1980 formalized the domestic policy towards refugees which before was primarily ad hoc in nature. The nature of the relationship between government and nongovernmental resettlement agencies is cooperative, with government relying on organizations to provide services and organizations relying on government for funding. Because of this, NGOs must embrace strategies to remain sustainable during hard times when funding is cut. This research includes a qualitative and quantitative study of the local resettlement organizations in Buffalo: The International Institute of Buffalo, Journey’s End Refugee Services, Catholic Charities, and Jewish Family Services. These organizations undoubtedly felt the impact of President Trump’s Executive Order and the subsequent loss in funding. An analysis of their funding information along with open-ended interviews with organizational administrators revealed the relationship that from mission drift to staffing cuts, they have had to find ways to cope with the changes. Moving forward, new strategies need to be embraced while the organizations continue to prepare themselves for future policy changes under the Trump administration.