Media & Statements / 10.08.21

RCUSA welcomes signing of refugee admissions goal

Washington, DC — President Biden today signed a refugee admission goal of 125,000 for fiscal year 2022, which began on October 1st. In response to the unprecedented global need and the dire circumstances facing Afghans and other vulnerable refugees, RCUSA had recommended a higher refugee admissions goal of 200,000. Before leaving office, President Trump had set a record-low admissions goal of 15,000 for the 2021 fiscal year. Several months into his presidency, Biden raised the admission goal to 62,500. Yet despite this revised goal, the US resettled only 11,411 refugees in the fiscal year just concluded — the lowest in the history of the program. 

RCUSA welcomes the signing of the admissions goal and urges the administration and Congress to make robust investments in rebuilding the US refugee resettlement program, including immediate improvements to strengthen access to the program and our capacity to welcome. RCUSA further recognizes that the United States can and should restore all asylum protections, end “Title 42” expulsions, and stop deporting and expelling our Haitian neighbors.

“After four years under an administration that sought to dismantle refugee resettlement, we are grateful to see a refugee admission goal that is more aligned with our nation’s legacy, and the need of refugees around the world,” said John Slocum, Interim Executive Director of Refugee Council USA. “However, we are disappointed that the administration failed to rebuild the resettlement program in FY 2021, resettling the fewest number of refugees in the history of the program. We need the President and Congress to fully support the refugee admissions goal of 125,000 with a commensurate investment in federal funding and partnership with resettlement agencies. At a time when the global community needs to step up in welcoming and protecting those who are displaced, our coalition and the resettlement community are ready to work with the administration to ensure as many refugees as possible are resettled in the coming year, and that essential infrastructure is rebuilt and expanded to continue our work of welcome.” 

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.

Media Contact: Sarah Seniuk, sseniuk@rcusa.org