Proposed Refugee Admissions Goal Signals Return to Moral Leadership

September 20, 2021

CWS welcomes the proposed goal of 125,000 refugees for FY22

New York City — CWS today praised the Biden Administration’s proposal to Congress to substantially increase U.S. refugee admissions to 125,000 individuals in Fiscal Year 2022, which begins October 1st. In response to the growing humanitarian needs for at-risk Afghans and other humanitarian crises, the organization urges the Biden Administration to further expand the refugee admissions goal to 200,000.

“Today we celebrate a return to moral leadership and our nation’s commitment to welcome and generosity. At long last there is hope for refugees in search of safety, including Afghans who are in imminent danger and thousands of families waiting to be reunited,” said CWS’ Erol Kekic.

“Setting the admissions goal is only step one. The administration should immediately invest in rebuilding a robust refugee resettlement program. This is an urgent, life-saving humanitarian priority that supports global stability and contributes to making our communities stronger.”

“CWS and the communities we work with across the nation are committed to welcoming as many refugees and their families as possible. We urge Congress to hold the administration accountable to meeting the unprecedented protection needs during the worst displacement crisis in history. We further ask Congress to fully fund the refugee admissions program in line with the admissions goal and make the necessary improvements to strengthen our nation’s capacity to welcome.”

Church World Service previously called on the administration to set the FY22 refugee admissions goal at 200,000 to meet the humanitarian needs for refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma, and other countries. 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.

While we welcome this important step to restore humanitarian leadership, CWS is deeply concerned by the increased deportation flights to Haiti under the immoral Title 42 policy and by the treatment of Haitians seeking refuge at the Southern border. We urge the administration to honor our country’s moral and legal obligation to welcome all people with dignity.