News & Resources

Press Release: IRAP Welcomes Increase in Refugee Admissions, Restoring U.S. Leadership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     

May 3, 2021


Henrike Dessaules


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Biden Administration officially raised the maximum number of refugees to be admitted to the United States this fiscal year from the historic low of 15,000 refugees to 62,500. The number functions as the Administration’s downpayment on its committed goal for next fiscal year of 125,000 refugees, and signals a return to U.S. leadership in refugee resettlement after years of xenophobic policies. 

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) applauds the announcement, which comes after President Biden initially signed a Presidential Determination that did not raise this year’s goal from the number set by President Trump, causing much confusion and discouragement among refugees and their families and advocates. Today’s decision to raise the number to the Administration’s original proposal is a hopeful sign that it is ready to live up to its promises to once again make the United States a global humanitarian leader.

“Today, we commend the Biden Administration for doing the right thing and recommitting to a refugee goal that actually turns the page from the last four years,” said Sunil Varghese, IRAP’s Policy Director. “This is an important step towards ensuring that the refugee program is rebuilt in a manner that reflects our country’s values as a beacon of freedom and safety for the persecuted.”

IRAP is hopeful that the Administration will take all necessary steps to meet the new refugee target and looks forward to President Biden fulfilling his campaign pledge to resettle at least 125,000 refugees next fiscal year and working with the relevant agencies to create a fairer, more efficient, and humane resettlement process.

To view the press release, click here.