Blog & Stories / 08.16.21

President Biden: We have a moral responsibility to act

Washington, DC — The United States refugee resettlement system was born from great moments of compassion and responsibility, when US citizens could no longer bear for the suffering of others around the world to go unanswered. From World War II, to the Refugee Act of 1980, to today, the resettlement program has grown in its ability to serve those in desperate need of safety. Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) is the umbrella organization of the nine national refugee resettlement agencies and eighteen other nonprofits serving and advocating for refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. On behalf of these national agencies and their thousands of employees across the country and around the world, RCUSA’s message is clear — we are ready to provide welcome to Afghans in need of protection and we collectively have the capacity to do so. 

Following months of warnings from advocates and experts that a humanitarian crisis was imminent upon the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Taliban forces gained control over Kabul on August 15th, sending the city and country into chaos. Thousands of Afghans who worked with US forces, non-governmental organizations, and media outlets — along with their family members— have been all but cut off from evacuation and face imminent risk of violence and death. Thousands more women, girls, LGBTQIA+ people, and dissenters are facing deprivation of their rights and liberty. 

We have a moral responsibility to act, and act swiftly. 

In this moment of acute crisis, Refugee Council USA calls upon the Biden administration to bring Afghan refugees to safety immediately. America’s resettlement agencies and other refugee-serving organizations are ready to help and are capable of welcoming many thousands of additional refugees, Special Immigrant Visa recipients (SIVs), and other Afghans in need of protection with the support of local communities.

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 all refugee-related issues identically.

Media Contact: Sarah Seniuk, sseniuk@rcusa.org

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