CWS Calls on Biden to Set Refugee Admissions Goal at 200,000 for FY23

May 3, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, in partnership with fellow leading refugee resettlement and advocacy organizations, CWS called on the Biden administration to set, in consultation with Congress, a Presidential Determination of 200,000 for the 2023 fiscal year. The call came in a letter from Refugee Council USA, of which CWS is a founding member, asking that the president take this bold action by the September 30, 2022 deadline. The organizations also called on the president to robustly invest in the U.S. resettlement system, so that the United States can better respond to emerging and worsening crises, such as in Ukraine and Afghanistan, as well as prolonged upheavals in Africa, southeast Asia, and beyond.

“After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban and the invasion of Russia into Ukraine, our offices have been inundated with concerned community members asking how they can help welcome refugees to the United States. President Biden has the support of the people behind him, he now needs to act in their best interest by setting a resettlement goal of 200,000 for the next fiscal year,” said Erol Kekic, Senior Vice President at CWS. “The need for a strong and well-supported resettlement system has seldom been more evident. As Ukrainians flee the horrors of war and as Afghans flee the violence of the Taliban, prolonged conflict and humanitarian crises have left Ethiopians, Eritreans, Syrians, Rohingya, and others reaching for a lifeline. President Biden took office facing an undermined and embattled resettlement program, but by setting this robust goal and by investing in it—both through funding and policy—he would signal bold leadership in strengthening our nation’s capacity to welcome.”

Thus far, the Biden administration’s steps to rebuild the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program began in earnest following the resettlement of Afghan evacuees through a heavy reliance on humanitarian parole. With plans to welcome up to 100,00 Ukrainians, turning to a designated parole program for Ukrainians with U.S.-ties, it is imperative that the administration truly supports a wide array of pathways to permanent protection. Now is the time to maximize the use of the US resettlement program to offer safety and refuge to the most vulnerable. CWS further urges Congress to provide supplemental funding and legislative authorizations to provide Ukrainians and other displaced populations fleeing Ukraine who are welcomed through humanitarian parole full resettlement services.

For more information or to speak with Kekic, contact