Washington, DC — Following through on a campaign promise, this week President Biden sent his intention to Congress to set a US refugee admissions goal of 125,000 for Fiscal Year 2022. This falls short of the 200,000 goal for admissions recommended by RCUSA in view of the 1.4 million refugees in need of resettlement worldwide and urgent needs amid the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan. But the Administration’s proposal marks an important step toward restoring the global leadership of the United States in refugee resettlement.
The United States government must fully restore and strengthen the US resettlement program, and rebuild the essential infrastructure it takes to meet this historic level of need. And, as the situation facing Haitians at the southern border so vividly demonstrates, there is much more work to be done to ensure that vulnerable displaced people are permitted to access safety in the United States. Our country has a moral and legal obligation—and the capacity—to welcome people seeking safety through our resettlement and asylum systems. Doing so is a matter of courage and political will.
John Slocum, Interim Executive Director of Refugee Council USA, said, “President Biden ran on a promise of rebuilding and restoring the US refugee resettlement program and our country’s longstanding commitment to providing refuge to those in need. We applaud the welcome being extended to vulnerable Afghans while condemning the deportation of Haitians and other forcibly displaced people back to situations of danger, in many cases without providing them with an opportunity to present their asylum claims as called for under US and international law. People around the world continue to face displacement and insecurity, and the US must respond by mobilizing its full suite of humanitarian protection tools. We will continue to hold this administration accountable not only for meeting its FY 2022 admissions goal but for also making sure the United States truly honors its legacy as a country of refuge.”
RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach common refugee-related issues identically.
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