By the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30th), the Administration was required to consult with Congress and determine the number of refugees allowed to be admitted to the U.S., a process known as the”Presidential Determination” (PD). So far, the Administration has only sent recommendations to Congress for a PD of 15,000. They must still consult with Congress about the recommendation and set the final number.

If the Presidential Determination for FY2021 is finalized at 15,000 refugees, it will be the fourth consecutive year that our country will have the lowest refugee admissions goal in the program’s history. Meanwhile, there are over 26 million refugees worldwide with over 1.44 million in need of resettlement. Also, these decreases have already meant lost protection for religious minorities, for example in 2016, 1524 Iraqi Christians received refuge in the United States, in 2019, only 86 did- a 94% decrease (see below).

As Catholics, we affirm the inherent dignity of every person and the ability of refugees to seek security and safety for themselves and family members. We continue to be deeply concerned that further reducing refugee resettlement numbers mean that refugees fleeing persecution are left in harm’s way, that refugee families are left separated across the continents and that the U.S. retreats in its global leadership position.

Learn more about refugees and refugee resettlement on the USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants resource page.