New York, NY, June 24, 2020 — On World Refugee Day former Vice President Joe Biden committed to an annual US refugee admissions target of 125,000 refugees, to increase this target over time in line with global resettlement needs, and to work with Congress to establish a minimum annual admissions level of at least 95,000 refugees, in line with the historic, bipartisan average from 1980 to 2017. The International Rescue Committee welcomes this commitment to a robust US refugee admissions program.
The IRC welcomes all proposals that meet the urgency of the global refugee crisis and that seek to recognize and restore the US’s historic, and indispensable, humanitarian leadership. Such proposals are mirrored in the provisions of the Guaranteed Refugee Admissions Ceiling Enhancement (GRACE) Act (S.1088 / H.R.2146) and The Refugee Protection Act (RPA) (S. 2936 / H.R.5210), blueprints to restore refugee protection systems in the U.S. Both pieces of legislation have been endorsed by a wide variety of stakeholders that serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and their millions of supporters across the US. In establishing a minimum admissions level, the GRACE Act and RPA represent a step change in protecting the refugee admissions program in line with its historic bipartisan support. This bipartisan support is grounded in our values as a nation, affirmed by communities across the country who welcome and support refugees, and by both Republican and Democratic leadership, as evidenced by the outpouring of support for refugees by both Republican and Democratic governors.
David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said:
“With a staggering 79.5 million refugees and displaced people around the world, leaders need to take bold steps towards meeting the urgent needs of the estimated 1.4 million among them for whom resettlement is the only remaining option. Over the last half century, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program has been a bipartisan, life-saving humanitarian initiative that has offered new hope to the world’s most vulnerable refugees. Now, with those fleeing for their lives facing especially dire circumstances, it is imperative that the U.S. renew such commitments, and we look to all those seeking or in elected office to do so.”
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.