Urgent Action: As President Biden Breaks Promise to Restore Refugee Resettlement, Tell Our National Leaders to Protect Refugees


April 16, 2021

On Friday, April 16, the Biden administration announced that it will keep the historic-low refugee admissions goal of 15,000 in place for the remainder of this fiscal year, despite promising to raise the goal to 62,500. Although the administration plans to restore regional allocations based on vulnerability and undo the previous administration’s discriminatory resettlement allocations, thousands of refugees will be left in harm’s way by leaving the current all-time low admissions goal intact. Due to the delay in announcing this decision, thousands of refugees who were ready for travel to the United States have seen their medical and security checks start to expire, forcing refugees to now have to wait months or years to be resettled and reunited with their loved ones.

It is vital that the administration and Members of Congress hear that we are outraged by this historic-low refugee admissions goal and that they must do everything in their power to welcome as many refugees as possible this fiscal year. Although the administration later released a statement announcing they would increase the admissions goal by May 15, it is vital we keep the President accountable. We need your help to make sure President Biden honors his promise to rebuild the refugee resettlement program, especially as we plan for next fiscal year. Make your voice heard and urge the Biden administration TODAY to immediately restore U.S. moral leadership in refugee protection and resettlement. Here are the top 3 ways to take action:

#1: CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Click “Send Email” or “Call Me” on the right to contact your 2 Senators and 1 Representative!
Please make sure you personalize the text highlighted in yellow.

Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN] and [as a person of faith / refugee] I am outraged that President Biden is keeping the historic-low refugee admissions goal at 15,000 for the rest of this fiscal year. Although the President finally restored regional allocations to undo overly restrictive resettlement categories, the delay in formalizing this decision has caused irreparable harm to thousands of refugees who will now have to wait months, if not years, to be resettled and reunited with their loved ones. I urge you to protect refugees and tell the Biden administration to restore the U.S. refugee resettlement program by welcoming as many refugees as possible this fiscal year, including by revising the admissions goal to the promised-62,500, and to honor his promise to rebuild the program to resettle 125,000 refugees in FY 2022. As we face the worst refugee crisis in history, it is vital that President Biden honor his commitment to re-establish U.S. moral leadership in refugee protection and resettlement. My community welcomes refugees, and I urge you to do the same.”

#2: TAKE ACTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Share this message on social media by using the sample posts below!

Share your message with the administration by using these sample tweets:

  • President Biden showed refugee families fleeing danger are not a priority. @POTUS must fulfill his promises to do more. #RestoringWelcome
  • Thousands of refugees are already vetted and approved for travel. @POTUS has failed to fulfill his commitment to #RestoringWelcome and bringing people to safety.
  • How can @POTUS ignore refugees in need around the world? The United States has the capacity to support border needs AND restore refugee arrivals. #RestoringWelcome

Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) has created messaging guidance and a social media toolkit for more resources. Here is a report from the IRC on refugee arrivals since President Biden’s inauguration.

#3: ORGANIZE A RAPID RESPONSE ACTION
Mobilize a local or virtual action or press conference

It is critical that we show a rapid response on this issue to continue public pressure on the administration to do the right thing and restore the refugee program. Hosting a virtual or in person event as you’re able can help influence the media narrative and public outrage. Here is a rapid response toolkit with a step-by-step guide and more guidance on how to organize a local or virtual action. Talking points are available here: https://bit.ly/RefugeeTalkingPoints2021. 

For more information, please check out the following press statements:

Thank you for taking action, and please share this alert with your networks!