September 21, 2021
BALTIMORE – Yesterday, the Biden administration reaffirmed the president’s commitment to set the refugee ceiling for Fiscal Year 2022 at 125,000. World Relief welcomes this increase to the refugee ceiling, which comes at a time when the world is facing the greatest refugee crisis at any time in recorded history, but calls on the administration to do more to strengthen its refugee and asylum programs to protect any individual seeking protection from persecution
“While 125,000 is the highest refugee ceiling since President George H. W. Bush set the ceiling at 142,000 for Fiscal Year 1993, we believe this increase in and of itself is not sufficient to provide true protection to those fleeing persecution. We must invest resources in rebuilding the resettlement program and also increasing capacities overseas to process those waiting to enter the United States. This includes providing protection to at-risk Afghans, Uyghurs facing religious persecution, Hong Kongers seeking freedom, and others who remain in dangerous situations overseas, ” said World Relief Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy Jenny Yang. “While the 125,000 ceiling for FY2022 is short of our ask of 200,000 refugees we believe the United States can and should admit in FY2022, we urge the Biden administration to welcome as close to 125,000 refugees as possible while also upholding our commitments to provide protection to those arriving to our border.”
As the recent withdrawal of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and subsequent evacuation demonstrated, the U.S. refugee admissions program is a necessary and vital tool to not only protect our allies but also those facing violence and persecution. The United States must continue to strengthen the U.S. refugee resettlement program to not only help Afghans but also others fleeing violence and persecution. The administration must also commit more resources and institute reforms to the program to ensure we can reach the goal of resettling 125,000 refugees in FY22 while also fully supporting refugee integration as they arrive in the United States. “As most of the Afghans arriving to the United States are parolees, we urge both the administration and Congress to provide the necessary governmental support to allow Afghan parolees access to benefits and the ability to adjust status once in the United States,” said Jenny Yang at World Relief.
“World Relief has partnered with the U.S. State Department as well as with thousands of local churches and tens of thousands of volunteers since the 1970s to welcome approximately 300,000 refugees,” said World Relief President and CEO Myal Greene. “We’re eager and ready to welcome more individuals who have fled persecution in their countries of origin, whether they are Afghans or Iraqis persecuted for their service to the U.S. military, those persecuted for their faith, those fleeing repressive authoritarian regimes or others who qualify under U.S. law.”
Protection for those seeking refuge in the United States is offered not just through our U.S. refugee resettlement program but through asylum at our U.S. borders. As the United States increases its annual refugee ceiling in FY2022, World Relief is concerned with the denial of due process to Haitians and others who are currently seeking asylum along the U.S.-Mexico border, many of whom are being expelled to countries of origin without being allowed to present requests for asylum. Even as World Relief welcomes those processed for refugee status abroad, we also believe that our country must respect U.S. laws that offer asylum to those who reach our country and can demonstrate a credible fear of persecution. World Relief works through local church partners in various parts of Haiti to address the troubling conditions that have led many to flee, exacerbated by the recent earthquake in Les Cayes, and we also are eager to partner with churches in the U.S. to welcome those seeking asylum who are allowed into the U.S. to await their court hearings.
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About World Relief
World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization that brings sustainable solutions to the world’s greatest problems – disasters, extreme poverty, violence, oppression, and mass displacement. For over 75 years, we’ve partnered with churches and community leaders in the U.S. and abroad to bring hope, healing and transformation to the most vulnerable. Learn more at worldrelief.org.