Washington, DC —Yesterday, the Biden administration submitted its budgetary anomaly requests required for a short-term FY 2022 Continuing Resolution. Such requests adjust funding levels in special circumstances for programs that would not otherwise receive the resources needed under a continuing resolution. If appropriated, these requests would help meet the urgent needs of displaced Afghans and other vulnerable refugees fleeing violence and persecution. Congress must provide supplemental funding to enable the administration to strengthen its response to recent and ongoing humanitarian crises and hold the administration accountable to its promises to Afghan allies and partners.
The anomaly requests include $1.69 billion for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to serve Afghans, as well as a prorated amount based on an annual spending rate of $7.99 billion for the fiscal year for unaccompanied children, refugees, and other vulnerable populations; $2.2 billion for the State Department and United States Agency for International Development to evacuate and serve at-risk Afghans and respond to other humanitarian needs; $535 million for US Citizenship and Immigration Services to address the refugee backlog and support Afghan assistance; and $21.5 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for medical support and care for Afghan arrivals and refugees. The requests also include authorization for Afghans entering the United States with humanitarian parole to receive resettlement services and create an opportunity for Afghans with humanitarian parole to apply for legal permanent residence.
Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) urges Congress to provide $9.68 billion for ORR as an anomaly and otherwise endorses the anomaly requests. RCUSA further calls on Congress to hold the administration accountable to continue welcoming vulnerable Afghans who have been left behind in Afghanistan or other host countries to the United States.
“Congress must include the administration’s request for supplemental emergency funding for ongoing evacuations of at-risk Afghans who remain in imminent danger and to provide critical resettlement services to recent arrivals in the United States,” said John Slocum, Interim Executive Director of Refugee Council USA. “This funding, coupled with the policies to authorize Afghans to receive resettlement benefits and have an opportunity for adjustment of status, are a lifeline to our wartime allies and to the broader refugee community. Congress can and should support the administration’s request and do everything in its power to ensure the administration lives up to its promise to protect displaced Afghans who are looking for the chance to rebuild their lives in safety.”
RCUSA previously recommended that President Biden set a refugee admissions goal of 200,000 for the 2022 fiscal year, and that the President advocate for a robust level of funding for the US refugee resettlement program, commensurate with this goal and taking into consideration the urgent need to rebuild our nation’s capacity to provide welcome. This refugee admissions goal ensures that the United States has the flexibility to respond to the acute and profound crisis in Afghanistan, while continuing to resettle refugees fleeing violence and persecution from around the world. The United States government must embrace the full restoration and strengthening of the US resettlement program, and rebuild the essential infrastructure it takes to meet this historic moment.
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.
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