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125k Proposed Refugee Admissions Cap is an Important First Step
Silver Spring, Md. — Today the Biden administration informed Congress that it intends to increase the refugee admissions cap, also known as the Presidential Determination (PD), from 62,500 to 125,000 for fiscal year 2022, which starts on October 1.
Naomi Steinberg, HIAS vice president, policy and advocacy said, “Increasing the refugee admissions target is the right thing to do. With more people forcibly displaced around the world than ever before, it is imperative that once again the U.S. commits to welcoming refugees in need of safety. This is the right thing for refugees and the right thing for the country.”
As important as the increased PD is, it is just the first step. HIAS called on the administration to increase the refugee admissions goal to 200,000 this year. This is consistent with the U.S. response in prior major refugee emergencies and would be appropriate in response to the massive displacement of people from Afghanistan this year, while refugees have not stopped fleeing other dangerous countries around the world.
The administration must also commit to rebuilding the U.S. refugee resettlement program and Congress must commit to ensuring that the resettlement program is fully funded and that refugees and the communities in which they live have the resources needed to be successful. We cannot forget that this includes making sure that newly arriving Afghans must also have access to the same services as refugees admitted through the resettlement program. They must also be able to become legal permanent residents, and ultimately U.S. citizens, just as those admitted as refugees are able to do.
HIAS is an international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers in 16 countries. We advocate for the rights of refugees to rebuild their lives and seek to create a world in which they find welcome, safety, and opportunity.