U.S. Refugee Admissions Program finds new life in FY 2024 | Global Refuge

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Press Release

U.S. Refugee Admissions Program finds new life in FY 2024

Global Refuge Staff

April 9, 2024

Halfway through Fiscal Year 2024, the U.S. has resettled nearly 50,000 refugees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 9, 2024

Contact: Timothy Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org

Baltimore, MD – The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is on track to resettle the most refugees in three decades, and potentially meet the Biden administration’s goal of resettling 125,000 refugees in Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, according to newly published State Department data. As of March 31, halfway through FY 2024, the program has admitted 48,673 refugees, with 17,682 resettled in February and March alone.

Top origin countries of admitted refugees include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Afghanistan, Burma, and Venezuela. USRAP has also significantly increased the resettlement of refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean with 8,518 admissions so far in FY23 – a figure that already represents the most refugees resettled from the region in a single fiscal year.

“After years of work rebuilding processing and resettlement capacity, the refugee program is finally delivering safety and opportunity to vulnerable families on a scale that lives up to our nation’s humanitarian ideals,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Global Refuge. “We commend the Biden administration for its new Safe Mobility Offices, which have been particularly helpful in affording meaningful resettlement opportunities to persecuted individuals and families in the Western Hemisphere.”

The rebuilding of the refugee program follows steep cuts under the Trump administration, which saw admissions continually decrease to just 11,814 in FY 2020, spurring widespread resettlement office closures. Since taking office, the Biden administration has made significant progress in rebuilding refugee processing capacity and positioning resettlement nonprofits to welcome more individuals and families. Since 2021, Global Refuge has nearly doubled its resettlement capacity and now oversees a network of 59 offices, and plans to open 16 additional locations in FY 2024, bringing service delivery to individuals and families in 34 states.

“We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to expand this lifechanging work of welcome, especially at a time of unprecedented worldwide displacement,” continued Vignarajah. “The growth in resettlement capacity throughout the country underscores the countless welcoming communities, civic groups, congregations, and volunteers who are willing and eager to walk alongside our newest refugee neighbors.”

The increase in refugee admissions also comes in the context of a new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study quantifying the net fiscal impact of refugees and asylees on federal, state, and local government budgets. In examining a 15-year period from 2005 to 2019, the study found that the net fiscal impact of refugees and asylees was overwhelmingly positive at $123.8 billion.

“Data shows that welcoming refugees not only strengthens our country’s humanitarian leadership, it also bolsters our economy and tax base to the benefit of all who call America home,” concluded Vignarajah. “Refugees may arrive only with what they can carry, but they ultimately enrich us through their resilience, adaptability, work ethic, and entrepreneurship.”

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About us:

Global Refuge, formerly Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, is a nonprofit serving newcomers seeking safety, support, and a share in the American dream. For 85 years, we have welcomed those seeking refuge, upholding a legacy of compassion and grace for people in crisis. We walk alongside individuals, families, and children as they begin their new lives in the United States through our work in refugee resettlement, welcome and respite services for asylum seekers, economic empowerment and employment, and family unification for unaccompanied children. To date, we have served over 750,000 people from around the globe. At Global Refuge, welcoming newcomers isn’t just our duty—it’s an inherent part of our identity, rooted in our Lutheran heritage and inspired values, and serving as a testament to our unwavering commitment to those in search of refuge.

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