Church World Service Urges President Biden to Sign Emergency Resettlement Goal

February 26, 2021

Washington, D.C.— Church World Service today calls on the Biden administration to immediately issue an Emergency Fiscal Year 2021 Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions and prevent the cancellation of travel for hundreds of refugees scheduled to arrive next week. The Biden administration has already proposed to increase the refugee admissions goal for this year to 62,500 yet has not done so since consulting with Congress on the revised target two weeks ago. Each day that passes without this signed executive action dozens of particularly vulnerable refugees, many of whom with scheduled travel to the United States, will see their cases further delayed.

“President Biden has already begun to undo the damage done to refugee resettlement during the previous administration. He has reversed the discriminatory refugee bans of the past and laid out the future of a resettlement program that helps the vulnerable and doesn’t exclude those in need. Now he must address the present,” said Erol Kekic, Senior Vice President for the Immigration and Refugee Program at Church World Service.  “For years, vulnerable families could do nothing but pray for a return to a fair and compassionate resettlement program. Now, with a stroke of his pen, the president can answer those prayers.”

Urgently signing the new presidential determination will honor President Biden’s promise to protect refugee families and reverse much of the damage done to the resettlement program under the previous administration. If issued, the new determination would raise the admissions goal for the current fiscal year to 62,500, eliminate exclusionary admission categories, and increase community involvement in resettlement across the nation. These refugees have been waiting for years for resettlement or to see their loved ones – and should not have to wait a day longer. Communities of faith remain committed to urgently welcome them.

For more information or to speak with Kekic contact