Jesuit Refugee Service/USA urges caution as Congress begins to consider the Biden Administration’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal, released today. While the proposed budget includes billions of dollars in funding to strengthen border security and enhance legal pathways for migrants seeking asylum, recent actions taken by the Administration indicate that resources may be utilized to restrict access to asylum and limit protection for the most vulnerable.
“The President’s budget request clearly outlines the Administration’s plans to dedicate significant resources to address challenges faced by our country’s immigration system,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director. “While investments are critical, the policies enacted by the Administration are pivotal and must prioritize the well-being, safety, and protection of all migrants and asylum seekers.”
The FY24 budget proposal also includes $3.9 billion for the Department of State’s Migration & Refugee Assistance account, which helps to address conflict-related displacement and supports humanitarian action and diplomacy for displaced populations overseas. JRS/USA encourages Congress to increase this funding level to at least the FY23 enacted figure of $4.4 billion.
Here at home, the President’s budget request includes $7.3 billion for the Office of Refugee Resettlement to continue rebuilding the U.S. refugee admissions program, including the resettlement of up to 125,000 refugees and related efforts such as Uniting for Ukraine. The U.S. has fallen short of its refugee resettlement goal in recent years and JRS/USA encourages the Administration to do everything in its power to meet its resettlement goal for FY24.
“We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the FY24 appropriations process prioritizes the needs of refugees around the world and those arriving at our borders,” said Giulia McPherson, Director of Advocacy and Operations. “Not only must adequate resources be allocated to meet those needs, but the U.S. must maintain its commitment to protecting the rights and dignity of all who have been forcibly displaced from their homes.”