CWS Urges Biden Administration to Admit 200K Refugees in Fiscal Year 2022

September 7, 2021

For Immediate Release: September 7, 2021

Media Contact:

New York City– In response to the growing humanitarian needs for at-risk Afghans and other humanitarian crises, Church World Service today urges the Biden Administration to set a refugee admissions goal of 200,000 for Fiscal Year 2022 beginning October 1st. 

“The refugee resettlement program was built for moments such as these. As the U.S. has withdrawn from Afghanistan, countless Afghans including women and girls, religious and ethnic minorities, LGBT people, human rights defenders, people with disabilities, and those who supported the U.S. mission remain at risk of violent retribution and imminent danger. At the same time, violence and persecution have forced unprecedented numbers of refugees from their homes across the world,” said Erol Kekic, SVP of the Immigration and Refugee Program at CWS.

“Throughout history, in times of crisis and great need the U.S. has responded with generosity as we welcomed families into our communities. We urge President Biden to meet this moment by setting a refugee admissions goal of 200,000 and investing in restoring and strengthening the life-saving refugee resettlement program. It is equally imperative for the administration to request robust congressional funding commensurate with this admissions goal and to improve our nation’s capacity to welcome. Our country deserves bold leadership in setting a strong admissions goal to meet this moment and in truly rebuilding the infrastructure that helps refugees integrate and thrive.”

The modern U.S. Refugee Admissions Program was established by the bipartisan Refugee Act of 1980 following the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. The U.S. welcomed over 207,000 refugees in the year that followed. Each year the president, after consulting with Congress, sets the refugee admissions goal, or the presidential determination, in response to global developments, foreign policy goals and humanitarian need.

This recommendation echoes that of Refugee Council USA, a coalition of refugee protection organizations including all nine refugee resettlement agencies. 

For more information on CWS efforts to welcome Afghans visit our Protecting Afghan Refugees at Risk page. To speak with CWS staff aiding in the evacuation, contact