Last night, the Biden Administration released its presidential determination on refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2023. Like last year, the cap is set at 125,000 – the highest since the 1990s. While we are pleased to see a cap at that level again, we hope the Administration admits more than just 19,919 refugees like it did this year to take advantage of the United States’ renewed commitment to welcoming refugees and resettlement agencies’ capacity building after being dismantled under the previous administration. While Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) was honored to provide resettlement services to the largest number of Afghan Allies on the East Coast, we were also concerned about refugees languishing around the world - dissidents from Burma, civil rights activists from Egypt, persecuted individuals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The United States is considered a beacon of hope and safety. We must continue living up to this reputation by not just keeping our doors open, but by welcoming vulnerable individuals through those doors. Once in the U.S., we must do everything we can to ensure they are safe and protected, which is why LSSNCA continues advocating for the Afghan Adjustment Act. That is why LSSNCA proudly called on the Administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to other vulnerable groups in the U.S. like Cameroonians. It is also why we provide wraparound care to asylum-seekers including trauma-informed mental health services as they adjust to their new communities.