Washington, DC – Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) welcomes the Fiscal Year 2024 Presidential Determination signed by President Biden, setting the refugee admissions goal for the coming fiscal year at 125,000. This includes an ambitious allocation of resettlement slots to those in need of protection from Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is the cornerstone of American humanitarian protection, and the FY24 Presidential Determination – coupled with significant innovations and capacity growth – demonstrates the Biden administration’s commitment to keep the resettlement program strong and growing,” said RCUSA Executive Director John Slocum. “We also welcome the administration’s enhanced attention to refugees in the Western Hemisphere, although this must not come at the expense of providing protection to vulnerable refugees in other world regions. Neither must the fundamental right to seek asylum be curtailed as new pathways to protection are made available.”
Refugee resettlement has always been a community led and supported project, and RCUSA notes the increasingly visible role of ordinary citizens from across the country, who complement the work of traditional resettlement agencies and are part of a growing movement of welcoming. Their generous contributions should provide additional, expanded opportunities for resettlement alongside and beyond the traditional program. But this entire endeavor can only succeed if it is adequately resourced and prioritized by Congress as well as the Biden administration. The continued rebuilding of US resettlement capacity will positively impact all of our communities. RCUSA and its member organizations look forward to partnering with the administration and elected officials to nurture an expanding resettlement ecosystem.
In June, the RCUSA coalition shared its formal recommendations with the administration, outlining programmatic changes and investments needed to keep the United States on track to resettle 125,000 refugees through traditional resettlement, plus a further 10,000 through the new Welcome Corps program of private sponsorship. RCUSA hopes to see continued investments, administrative action, and positive legislative changes that will enable the United States to readily resettle as many as 200,000 refugees annually by Fiscal Year 2026.
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