HIAS Praises Biden Administration for Maintaining Robust Refugee Admissions Goal

SILVER SPRING, Md – HIAS, the Jewish humanitarian organization that provides critical services to refugees, asylum seekers, and other displaced people in more than 20 countries around the world, welcomes the Biden administration’s announcement that the U.S. refugee admissions ceiling will remain at 125,000 for Fiscal Year 2024, maintaining the level of the Presidential Determination (PD) from the previous two years.

“We appreciate the administration’s ongoing commitment to robust refugee resettlement goals, through both the traditional U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, as well as the expanding use of private sponsorship through Welcome Corps,” said HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield.

“Though we and our fellow refugee protection organizations called for a higher goal of 135,000 for Fiscal Year 2024, we commend the administration for the 125,000 number. It reflects a real dedication to U.S. resettlement leadership and is a worthy target.”

“At the same time, with the world facing record numbers of displaced persons, we need to do more,” Hetfield added. “According to the United Nations, more than two million refugees need resettlement in 2023. The United States needs to do more than put a dent in that number.  Welcoming refugees strengthens our country, our communities, and our economy. The challenge we all face, however, is access to affordable housing as refugees get on their feet. This is where we need to build more capacity.”

Hetfield noted that, though this year’s goal was also set at 125,000, by the end of August the U.S. had resettled only about 51,000 people — marking a significant gap between the PD and the reality on the ground. “Though the pace of arrivals has picked up from the previous fiscal year, a lot of work needs to be done in the coming year to make sure the Presidential Determination is more than an aspirational number,” he said.

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