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Biden Administration to Raise Refugee Cap to 125,000 for FY2022

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Biden Administration to Raise Refugee Admissions Cap to 125,000 for FY2022

September 20, 2021
Contact: Timothy Young | | 443-257-6310

Washington D.C. – The U.S. government will raise the refugee admissions cap to 125,000 refugees in the next fiscal year starting October 1, according to a report to Congress submitted by the Biden administration. The move is aligned with President Biden’s campaign promise to reverse the historic cuts made to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) during the Trump administration.

The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, a national refugee resettlement agency and the U.S.’s largest-faith based nonprofit dedicated exclusively to serving vulnerable immigrant communities:

“We welcome an increased refugee admissions ceiling for next fiscal year given the urgent global need, keeping with President Biden’s campaign promise. It is an important signal that the US remains committed to restoring its global humanitarian leadership. However, it must be accompanied by measures to make sure that actual admissions reach that target.

While the Biden administration raised the ceiling to 62,500 this fiscal year, the US has only resettled about 7,500 refugees through its formal program during that time. Understandably, four years of the Trump administration’s assault on the refugee program coupled with pandemic challenges have hamstrung federal rebuilding efforts. 

Raising this cap without dedicating significant resources, personnel, and measures to streamline the process would be largely symbolic. It is vital that we see more refugee processing officers out in the field conducting the necessary interviews. If the pandemic poses challenges to doing so, the administration should implement 21st century solutions like remote interviews to ensure refugees move through the application pipeline. The world has largely adapted to the human realities of COVID-19; we must ensure refugee policy and programming does the same.

It bears repeating that refugees make our nation stronger in innumerable ways, and welcoming them embodies the best of the American spirit. We have a unique opportunity to build back the refugee program to meet the unprecedented need – with so many lives on the line, we must seize it.”



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