Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

Zenebe Beyene

Second Advisor

Melissa Bass

Third Advisor

Matthew Hall

Relational Format



From 2017 to 2020, the Trump administration cut United States refugee admissions tenfold. These reforms come unprecedented to the 40-year-old resettlement program (USRAP). By critically reviewing literature on this topic as well as conducting eight original interviews with five national nonprofits contracted by the Department of State to do refugee resettlement casework, this study sought to identify the implications of the Trump administration’s reforms to the program. Once implications were identified, I used the applied frameworks of program model as well as Michael Worth’s sociological and political science theories of American nonprofit-government relations to better inform and guide the study. Worth’s theories illustrate that nonprofits complement American traditions such as freedom, representation, and diversity, making them play an important role in democracy. This study found that refugee resettlement services affirm that theory. Compiling the significance of the reforms’ implications against the test of a robust theoretical framework led to an understanding that the Trump administration’s cuts to the USRAP indeed reduces the nonprofits’ ability to fulfill their role in government. These reforms will forever weigh heavy in the history of the program.



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