Washington, DC — Refugee Council USA urgently calls on President Biden to swiftly sign the Emergency Fiscal Year 2021 Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions and prevent the cancelation of travel for hundreds of refugees who are set to arrive next week. RCUSA welcomed the Biden Administration’s recent proposal to increase this year’s refugee admissions goal to 62,500 refugees, eliminate the previous administration’s arbitrary and exclusionary admissions categories, expand access to family reunification, and increase opportunities for communities to welcome refugees across the country.
“Each day that passes without this signed executive action is another day that hundreds of particularly vulnerable refugees are forced to wait to be resettled,” said John Slocum, Interim Executive Director of Refugee Council USA. “Two weeks ago, the administration consulted with Congress on the revised admissions goal in compliance with US law. In response to the President’s announcement that he would work to restore the legacy of the refugee admissions program, refugees who had been denied safety under Trump’s policies were scheduled to be welcomed. Now, hundreds of refugees will see their flights canceled. Many have been waiting for years for resettlement or to see their loved ones — and should not have to wait a day longer. It is critical that President Biden immediately sign the revised refugee presidential determination for FY 2021 as soon as possible.”
The last administration sought to end the resettlement program through executive order, set four of the lowest admissions goals in the program’s 40 year history, and made discriminatory program changes. President Biden rightly rescinded many of those blockages, renewing hope for thousands. Now, he must take the next step by signing a new refugee admissions goal.
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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