Awareness - September 27 2021 - We Welcome

Awareness - September 27 2021

The House of Representatives approved $6.3 bn for Afghan evacuees as part of funding bill 

As part of legislation funding the government through early December, over $6 billion was approved to support resettlement of Afghan refugees. The bill passed with no Republican support. Now the bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate, which is more narrowly divided along party lines.

In addition to the funding provisions for Afghan refugees, the bill also sets timelines to process asylum claims, requires US officials to interview applicants within 45 days of their application and to issue a decision within 150 days, and requires DHS to submit quarterly reports to Congress on number of evacuees in the US and in overseas military bases. The bill would also provide Afghan parolees with benefits afforded to refugees and SIV holders, which they currently do not receive.

The migrant camp in Del Rio was cleared amidst controversy over the treatment of Haitian migrants

Last week saw a large increase in the number of Haitians being expelled by the U.S. government with multiple flights to Haiti daily. As of Monday, 3,354 Haitians had been expelled since September 19th on a total of 31 flights. Included among these flights were at least 41 children with non-Haitian citizenship.

The camp of Haitians who had been staying under the international bridge in Del Rio was cleared as of Friday, and Secretary Mayorkas reported on Sunday that 8,000 had returned to Mexico voluntarily while another 12,000 were allowed into the United States to pursue asylum cases. 

In response to an outcry over the images of officers on horseback intimidating migrants along the river, the Biden administration announced that an investigation is underway, and that the officers involved have been put on administrative duties. The administration’s special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, resigned his position in protest of the deportations. In his resignation letter, he stated, “I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs to daily life.”

President Biden plans to raise the refugee ceiling to 125,000 for FY 2022

Last week President Biden submitted a proposal to Congress indicating his intention to set the refugee ceiling at 125,000 for FY 2022. The proposal details regional allocations and prioritized populations, and includes new provisions for private sponsorship that is expected to be launched in early 2022.  

Proposed Regional Allocations for Refugee Resettlement FY2022



East Asia


Europe and Central Asia


Latin America/Caribbean


Near East/South Asia


Unallocated Reserve



As of 8/31, only 7,637 refugees had been resettled in the US, far below the FY2021 ceiling of 62,500. In addition to raising the refugee ceiling, the administration will need to take measures to rebuild and strengthen the refugee resettlement infrastructure in order to meet these high goals.