FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2023
Contact: Tim Young | email@example.com | 443-257-6310
Washington D.C. – The White House today announced that President Biden has officially signed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Presidential Determination on refugee admissions, maintaining the annual cap at 125,000 – including 35,000 – 50,000 admissions slots for refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean.
While the target remains the same for the third consecutive fiscal year, actual admissions have significantly increased from an all-time low of 11,411 in FY 2021 to more than 55,000 in FY 2023. While resettlement partners assisted more than 70,000 vulnerable Afghans following the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, arrivals via the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program had been slow to rebound following dramatic cuts by the Trump administration and operational complications that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to respond to the increasing need for services, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service has taken strides to grow its organizational footprint across the country. From FY 2021 through FY 2023, the nonprofit added 22 resettlement sites nationwide, and will launch 6 additional sites in FY24 in Texas, Florida, Montana, Missouri, Iowa, and Maryland.
In response to the FY 2024 Presidential Determination, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, said:
“On the heels of the Biden administration’s monumental progress rebuilding the refugee program, this fiscal year feels like a notable shift from symbolic aspirations to substantive expectations. Thanks to concerted efforts to address bottlenecks in the system, more people have found safety on U.S. soil through this program in the past fiscal year than the previous three fiscal years combined. Each and every one of these refugee admissions should be acknowledged as a life saved, a dream of a brighter future renewed, and a nation’s values honored.
We are also heartened by the administration’s commitment to resettle more families from the western hemisphere, which is critical to building trust with regional partners and maintaining robust protection pathways for vulnerable people who may otherwise risk an incredibly perilous journey to our southern border. With such an ambitious target for admissions from Latin America and the Caribbean, we urge officials to build meaningful humanitarian infrastructure in the region, particularly through the administration’s new Safe Mobility Offices initiative. Amid unprecedented global displacement, however, policy makers should not leverage such pathways as justification to curtail access to the bedrock human right to seek asylum.
It bears repeating that welcoming refugees makes our nation stronger. They may arrive with little, but these newcomers contribute immensely to our society culturally, civically, and economically. We are deeply grateful for the tireless efforts of our resettlement network providers, community co-sponsors, local partners, and ordinary Americans who feel called by their values to this work of welcome. We encourage the administration to consider additional support for housing, employment, and education as more refugee families become cherished neighbors in the many welcoming communities they now call home.”