President Trump signed the Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2021 following consultations with Congress conducted by the Department of State, along with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services. It authorizes the resettlement of up to 15,000 refugees in the United States in Fiscal Year 2021.
The President’s program reflects the Administration’s continuing commitment to seeing the world as it is and not as we want it to be, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, while accounting for the massive backlog in asylum cases. We see the scope of the worldwide refugee crisis, and the most feasible long-term solutions, with clear eyes and with a commitment to maintaining America’s historic role as a force for good.
Since 1980, the United States has welcomed more than 3.8 million refugees and asylees, and we host hundreds of thousands more people in other humanitarian immigration categories, including victims of trafficking and those with special immigrant juvenile status. In Fiscal Year 2021 we will continue this legacy by prioritizing refugees who have suffered or fear persecution on the basis of religion; Iraqi refugees whose lives have been endangered by their assistance to the United States; refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras; and refugees from Hong Kong, Cuba, or Venezuela.
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is just one part of the full array of America’s efforts as a leader in humanitarian assistance and diplomacy.
We are confronting problems that drive refugee outflows at the source. For example, we are working to support African-led efforts to implement fully South Sudan’s peace agreement and resolve its inter-communal conflicts. We are also working to strengthen economies and governance in Central American nations and support the legitimate government of Juan Guaido against Maduro’s tyranny in Venezuela. In the coming fiscal year, we will continue to pursue diplomatic solutions to crises around the world to help avoid displacement occurring in the first place.
Most displaced people seek to return home safely as soon as they can. We want to help them do that. In line with the U.S. National Security Strategy, we assist refugees and other displaced people as close to their homes as possible until they can safely and voluntarily return to rebuild their lives, their communities, and their countries. We have put a practical focus on assisting refugees where they are concentrated – places like Bangladesh, Colombia, Ecuador, Jordan, Lebanon, Peru, Sudan, and Turkey. The United States has provided nearly $70 billion in overseas humanitarian assistance in the last decade alone. Our funding supports the work of international organization partners like the Nobel Prize-winning World Food Programme which helps to feed the world’s most vulnerable people.
Over the course of the past year, our longstanding leadership in humanitarian assistance took on even greater importance in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of our All-of-America approach, the United States has provided $908 million in supplemental COVID-19 humanitarian aid for refugees and other displaced and crisis-affected people. This funding makes a life-saving difference by supporting the work of our international and non-governmental partners who are on the ground around the world from Venezuela to South Sudan to Syria to Bangladesh to Burma in their efforts to prevent and respond to COVID-19.
The President’s program reaffirms America’s commitment to assist the world’s most vulnerable people while fulfilling our duty to protect and serve the American people.