Biden Must Rebuild Refugee Resettlement Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. — With refugee admissions having hit a record low in fiscal year 2021, the need for the Biden administration to ramp up processing and resettlement is clear.

The fiscal year ended Thursday with just a total of 11,445 refugee admissions, the Associated Press reports. That number excludes tens of thousands of Afghans who have been brought to the U.S. under humanitarian parole following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The administration plans to set a cap of 125,000 admissions for fiscal year 2022, a number that would return resettlement to or slightly beyond historic levels before Trump took office. But to increase actual admissions, the administration needs to bolster the resettlement pipeline, including properly resourcing the government agencies and nonprofit organizations responsible for resettling refugees.

The administration is requesting $1.77 billion for refugee resettlement in fiscal year 2022, a significant increase from 2021’s $966.8 million.

“The Biden administration has its work cut out to return the United States to a position of leadership when it comes to welcoming people seeking refuge,” said Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “Congress and the administration must continue rebuilding a robust refugee program by ensuring resettlement organizations across the country have the infrastructure and resources necessary to increase admissions and restore our legacy as a global standard-bearer of welcome.”

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