Interfaith Immigration Coalition Urges President Biden to Increase FY23 Refugee Admissions Goal to 200,000

By Angelina Sang


WASHINGTON, DD – The Interfaith Immigration Coalition delivered a letter to the White House late this past week, urging President Biden to push the refugee admissions goal to 200,000 for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) and to hold consultations regarding the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).


The Interfaith Immigration Coalition includes more than “55 national, faith-based organizations brought together across many theological traditions” with a common goal to “advocate for just and equitable immigration policies, educate faith communities, and serve immigrant populations around the country,” according to its website. The letter also included signatories from 208 religious leaders and 108 national, state, and local faith-based organizations.


The groups wrote, “In light of the extraordinary global need, and the United States’ demonstrated capacity to expand welcome, it is imperative that your administration set a robust refugee admissions goal of 200,000 refugees for FY23. We ask your administration to fully reinvest in USRAP as a cornerstone of our nation’s humanitarian protection programs, utilize USRAP as a tool to ensure that global humanitarian needs are addressed with greater equity, and lead the international community in demonstrating welcome.”


The Presidential Determination (PD), also known as the refugee admissions goal, for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) was set at 125,000. The letter from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition applauded the Presidential administration’s response to the Afghan and Ukrainian crises, but called for a 75,000 increase in the U.S. admission goal, stating that the need for America to welcome refugees remains dire.

The faith leaders and organizations wrote, “The world faces its greatest ever displacement crisis, with over 100 million people across the globe having been forced to flee their homes, including over 31 million refugees. As faith communities, we lament the suffering related to mass displacement and remain committed to advocating for welcoming policies.


“We have welcomed the steps taken by your administration to respond to a number of acute displacement crises over the last year, including Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) and the resettlement of over 80,000 Afghans, and the launch of Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) and the commitment to welcome 100,000 displaced Ukrainians. In the past year, our places of worship renewed our historic devotion to welcome and assisted tens of thousands of Afghans and Ukrainians as they sought safety in the U.S. and settled into communities across the country.


“Yet the need for broad-based humanitarian protection remains ever-growing. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees projects that in 2023, over 2 million refugees will be in need of resettlement – populations that extend far beyond those to be served through OAW or U4U, and are just as deserving of protection.


“Moreover, as of June 30th, only 15,100 refugees were resettled in the U.S., accounting for just 12% of the 125,000 refugee admissions goal, with three months left in the fiscal year. It is imperative that the administration continue to resettle as many refugees as possible for the remainder of this fiscal year and urgently address the USRAP rebuild as we plan for the next fiscal year.”

About The Author

Angelina is a junior at UCSB from San Carlos, California studying Psychological and Brain Sciences and History pursuing a pre-law track.

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