New York City–– Voice for Refuge Action Fund applauds the Biden Administration’s proposal to Congress to set the Fiscal Year 2022 refugee admissions goal to 125,000. We are grateful to see President Biden taking steps to fulfill his campaign promises to rebuild the refugee resettlement program and set a robust refugee admissions goal of 125,000–promises that led to our endorsement of his campaign.
“President Biden following through on his promise to raise the admissions goal to 125,000 for 2022 is a step in the right direction,” says Voice for Refuge Managing Director, Mary Elizabeth Margolis. “For refugee families who have been separated for years and Afghan refugees in immediate danger, this new proposed refugee goal is a sign of renewed hope. Congress must allocate funding to allow the U.S. to actually meet this goal and to support the rapid expansion of refugee processing.”
“The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan following the U.S. withdrawal is a moment of reckoning for U.S. foreign policy and refugee protection– a moment that calls for a historic response. We urge the administration to increase the refugee admissions goal even further to meet this moment. After historically low refugee admissions the last four years the U.S. has a moral obligation to respond in force, something that an admissions goal closer to 200,000 would allow us to do.”
The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has cast a spotlight on the clear need for the U.S. refugee program to resettle those affected by the events of the past few months in Afghanistan, and in other areas all over the world. A refugee admissions goal of 125,000 will barely provide enough capacity to resettle all the Afghan evacuees we anticipate needing resettlement in this next year, let alone those facing dangerous situations in Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tigray/Ethiopia among others.
With crises around the world and more than 31 million refugees globally, the U.S. needs a stronger refugee resettlement response. It is equally clear that the administration must take immediate action to prioritize other forms of humanitarian protection, including restoring all asylum protections, ending Title 42 expulsions, and stopping the deportation of our Haitian neighbors. So while we applaud the intention to set the refugee resettlement admissions goal to 125,000 as promised, we encourage the administration to reconsider raising the goal to 200,000 to meet the current humanitarian needs of this moment and utilize all of its tools to rebuild our nation’s capacity to welcome.
About Voice for Refuge: Voice for Refuge is the first 501(c)4 organization created to advance pro-refugee policies at the national, state, and local level and to hold elected leaders accountable to upholding America’s legacy of welcome. Voice for Refuge is educating the public about the benefits of refugee resettlement, advocating for pro-refugee policies in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures, and increasing civic engagement among refugees through non-partisan voter education. Voice for Refuge will also promote the representation of refugees in government by supporting former refugees and pro-refugee candidates running for office at the national, state, and local level. For more information or to get involved visit voiceforrefuge.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.