Pax Christi USA has joined other organizations in endorsing this letter from Rep. Juan Vargas on supporting an increase in appropriations funding for refugee-related accounts.
Please join us in supporting an increase in funding for refugee-related accounts for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. On September 20, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the refugee ceiling for FY 2016 would increase to 85,000 from the standard worldwide refugee ceiling of 70,000. This would include at least 10,000 Syrian refugees to be resettled in the United States. From October 1, 2010, through August 31, 2015, the United States has admitted only 1,494 Syrian refugees, of which 1,300 of that total arrived after October 1, 2014.
As our international partners and state and local stakeholders begin to prepare for the increase in refugee resettlement, we must provide the adequate resources for long-term transitional assistance. The Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations have recently introduced the bipartisan The Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act. We are calling on their counterparts in the House to complement their efforts as we move forward in the appropriations process. As you know, the background checks required of refugees to the United States are the strictest and most rigorous of any visitor to this country and require substantial resources, not to mention the actual costs of resettlement….