The American people have spoken, and the election has been called for Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States.
While a record number of Americans turned out to vote, the country remains as deeply divided as ever. We need to stand up for the world’s most vulnerable as Americans have for generations. We cannot allow refugees, asylum seekers, displaced people and new Americans to pay the price of more divisive politics.
Now, it’s up to all of us to step up and help repair the damage of the last four years. The communities we serve—from asylum seekers at the border and families displaced by conflict and facing COVID-19 to resettled refugees and other new Americans who have suffered under the current administration’s inhumane policies—need our help.
Three ways the Biden administration must act for refugees and displaced people:
Repair the broken asylum system in the U.S.
After four years of the Trump administration dismantling asylum protections, we urge the Biden Administration to:
Uphold the rights of asylum seekers.
Halt deportations without due process.
Invest in a new system to keep asylum seekers safe until their case is heard.
Rebuild and expand the refugee resettlement program
The Trump administration turned its back on refugees, most recently by setting a record-low refugee admissions target of 15,000 for the fiscal year 2021. The U.S. has long set the bar for refugee resettlement, a goal averaged at 95,000 refugees per year across both Republican and Democratic administrations, in line with historic norms, commitments and American ideals. The Biden campaign has made bold commitments to welcome 125,000 refugees annually.
Restore global U.S. leadership, especially in humanitarian aid amidst the COVID-19 crisis
The world has felt the absence of U.S. leadership. Instead of collaboration we’ve seen the breakdown of global cooperation. The Biden administration must lead by example:
Fast and flexible financing to frontline humanitarian responders.
Global coordination to secure humanitarian access for people and supplies.
Global leadership to secure ceasefire agreements to reach people in need.
Here in Denver, the IRC—thanks to you—has stood by refugees, asylum seekers and new Americans since 2016 and has continued our essential services during COVID-19. We are ready to greet new arrivals and help those who have waited years to reunite with their loved ones.
What a new administration means for the IRC in Denver
The Biden administration’s commitment to welcoming 125,000 refugees annually means that the Denver office will see the number of newly-arrived refugees we serve grow—Colorado typically receives 2% of the national number of refugees who come to the U.S. each year. And most importantly, Colorado families who have been waiting for their loved ones to join them will have increased opportunities for family reunification.
A new administration that is committed to protecting the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program will mean that the IRC in Denver can pivot away from our day-to-day struggle to ensure that the refugee admission program is not further damaged. We will be able to commit more energy and resources into long-term integration opportunities for clients, financial literacy, employment and case management services, digital literacy, and youth programming.
A commitment to repairing the U.S. asylum system will mean that more people will have access to this life-saving program. They will need case management and legal services as their cases are adjudicated—and for many, access to rehabilitative services for survivors of torture. The IRC in Denver will need to increase its capacity to provide these services to more people.
Your support and partnership are vital as we step into the next four years. Your generosity, thoughtfulness and friendship have sustained our work since we opened our office over four years ago, and we hope you will continue to join us in welcoming our newest refugee and immigrant neighbors.
Please consider renewing your support for the IRC in Denver on Colorado Gives Day, December 8th. Your gift will help us on the best possible path forward and grow our programs without sacrificing quality and outcomes.
Click here to schedule your donation.
Whatever 2021 brings, the IRC will be there for refugees and similarly displaced populations!