The US government will maintain the same refugee quota next year as it had in 2022, an increase relative to the refugee quotas allocated during the Trump presidency.

President Joe Biden today signed the Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2023, setting the refugee admissions goal at 125,000 for this upcoming fiscal year, the White House reported.

Secretary of the Department of State Anthony Blinken announced the refugee quota for the year 2023 in a statement where he highlighted: “This ambitious goal demonstrates that the United States is committed to rebuilding and strengthening the US Refugee Admissions Program. (USRAP), including by building capacity, modernizing and streamlining overall operations, and resolving long-delayed requests.”

The White House memorandum to the Department of State notes that intake numbers will be assigned among refugees of special humanitarian interest to the United States according to the following regional assignments:

Africa. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40,000
East Asian. . . . . . . . . . . . . 15,000
Europe and Central Asia. . . . . . 15,000
Latin America/Caribbean. . . . . . 15,000
Near East/South Asia. 35,000
Unallocated reserve. . . . . . . . . 5,000

Those assignments may be changed if the need warrants, with the authorization of the Congressional Judiciary Committee.

The Europe and Central Asia subregion, where Ukraine is located, is the only one to receive an increase in the maximum refugee quota, with 5,000 more quotas compared to last year.

The allocations, which are set “for humanitarian or national interest reasons”, do not mean that the country will host that number of refugees during the year. In fact, so far this year, the US has only received 19,919 refugees, according to the latest available data from the State Department on August 31.

The majority of refugees admitted during the fiscal year came from Africa (8,593), East and South Asia (6,022), and Latin America (1,985).

This year’s admission fee falls short of a request made in early September by more than 300 religious organizations and leaders, who sent a letter to Biden asking him to recommend receiving a maximum of 200,000 refugees.

The Ukraine crisis and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan caused the country to receive more than 100,000 people of these nationalities this year under a humanitarian permit, outside the refugee program.

Blinken noted that “Throughout the program’s history, USRAP has resettled nearly 3.5 million refugees in the United States. The world is now facing unprecedented levels of forced displacement, and the United States continues to lead the international humanitarian response, including through increased resettlement in third countries.”

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