Yesterday, the Biden Administration submitted a report to Congress recommending an increase in the refugee admissions goal to 125,000 for fiscal year 2022. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA applauds the Administration for keeping its commitment to increasing refugee admissions, yet urges them to consider a 200,000 admissions goal that would meet today’s global challenges. Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, released the following statement:
“The number announced today is a step in the right direction and signals the President’s commitment to return to our nation’s moral leadership and track record of welcoming refugees. Thousands of refugees from around the world fleeing persecution and dire conditions will be able to find safety and shelter in our land,” she said.
“However, we would have hoped that this number was higher. In light of President Biden’s longstanding commitment to resettling refugees, we expected the Biden Administration to put forth a more ambitious number. Raising the number to 200,000 would have allowed for the accommodation of a significantly higher total number of refugees from Afghanistan and around the world.”
“We’re in a moment of history when displaced people need our help more than ever. More than 80 million people have been forced to flee their homes, the highest levels in recent history. Far less than 1% have successfully resettled in the United States so far this fiscal year. The United States has a moral and legal duty to renew its commitment to helping refugees and to do so in a manner that reflects our nation’s core values and historical precedent. The Afghan refugee crisis only made the need to increase this number more pressing.”
“When President Biden campaigned for President, he promised that his Administration would significantly increase the refugee cap and return U.S. refugee law to normalcy. He repeated his promise to welcome refugees during a Jesuit Refugee Service/USA event last November. The need has only increased since this original commitment was made and we once again urge the Biden Administration to actively work with Congress to set an adequate refugee admissions number and provide sufficient funding levels to support this necessary increase.”
Earlier this month, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA supported a coalition effort led by Refugee Council USA calling for the same number – 200,000 refugees – in a letter sent to the President:
“[Due] to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and with a clear eyed understanding of both the moral necessity and pragmatic challenges of offering welcome, protection and support to refugees and other vulnerable forcibly displaced persons, RCUSA is revising its recommendation for the FY2022 refugee admissions goal upward from 125,000 to 200,000. Laying out this ambitious marker will be a critical step toward rebuilding our country’s humanitarian capabilities and expanding access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), if paired with implementing the key reforms we stipulate later in this letter and requesting robust funding from Congress,” the coalition wrote.
To speak with Joan Rosenhauer about JRS/USA’s work to support refugees, please contact Paola Amador, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 615-9903.