JRS/USA Deeply Disappointed in Lowest Ceiling in History of US Refugee Resettlement

01 October 2020

With minutes to spare before the September 30 deadline, the Administration announced that the annual Presidential Determination (PD) for Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2021 will be 15,000 – the lowest in US history. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA expresses deep disappointment in the Administration’s decision to further limit the number of refugees who can seek protection in the US.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the US refugee resettlement program has offered safe haven to more than 3 million refugees who have made significant contributions to our communities as essential workers, entrepreneurs, and members of civil society. Resettlement is a lifesaving solution for some of the 1.445 million refugees who have been identified as most vulnerable by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

“Reflective of our nation’s core values and Christian responsibility to ‘welcome the stranger,’ the refugee resettlement program demonstrates the best of who we are as a country,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director of JRS/USA. “It is deeply disappointing that this program will, again, be smaller and hampered in its ability to demonstrate these American values and disregard this Christian responsibility.”

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA urges the Administration to actively consult with Congress, as required by the Refugee Act of 1980, to determine how the US can build back the refugee resettlement program. US leadership will play a critical role in overcoming the highest levels of global displacement ever recorded – almost 80 million forcibly displaced around the world.

“Only through responsibility sharing can the world come together to solve some of our greatest challenges. Resettlement, alongside robust humanitarian assistance, provides much-needed support to those who are most vulnerable in our world,” said Giulia McPherson, Director of Advocacy & Operations at JRS/USA.