Should the US increase its refugee quota?


Refugees are men, women and children fleeing war, persecution and political upheaval who have crossed borders to seek safety in another country. Most eventually go home when it’s safe, some stay in temporary refugee settlements, and a tiny fraction resettle in a third country, such as the United States. 

The U.S. is just one of 29 resettlement countries. Out of the more than 26 million refugees in the world, less than one percent are considered for resettlement worldwide. 

The U.S. accepts a limited number of refugees each year. The president in consultation with Congress determines the authorized target for refugee admissions through a Presidential Determination. The Trump Administration  slashed refugee admissions by more than 85%, setting record-low admission caps nearly every year: 30,000 for 2019, 18,000 for 2020 and just 15,000 for 2021. 

These numbers represented a stark decline from the average annual admissions cap of 95,000 under both Republican and Democratic administrations since the program was founded.


Broad description of US Refugee Policy and its current status

US Department of State Report to Congress on Refugee admissions for 2023 September 2022


*Refugees are a worldwide crisis – over 26 million are in need – only 1% get an opportunity for resettlement.

*Refugee resettlement advances American strategic objectives abroad

*The world’s poorest countries host 85% of all refugees – that should change

*Poorer countries can’t meet the needs of their own citizens – much less help these refugees

*If the United States doesn’t step up – other countries may not help or even close their borders to refugees

*Changes in US policy can make the whole experience better

*Refugees work and can help with the labor shortage

Reasons why America should take in more refugees

The US is failing refugees – numbers taken in fall as crisis worsens July 2022

Specific changes to US Immigration policy that would increase US world leadership – not a moment to spare September 2022

Biden administration falls short of 2022 Refugee goal by 80% October 2022

Accepting refugees is a win win win – helps the US, the originating country and the refugees

Study shows refugees are the most economically productive immigrants – and more productive than US citizens


*Refugees are a large economic cost and strain on domestic resources

*Taking in refugees leads to brain drain

*refugees may pose a threat to national security

*Refugee resettlement can never help 26 million in worldwide crisis – 

*We should help support helping refugees where they are – our aid has a greater effect

*It’s only treating the symptoms – not the root cause of the growing refugee crisis

*It leads to cultural erosion for the refugee

*Unemployed refugees may turn to crime

*Increased refugee resettlement in the current climate will increase racial and cultural tensions

The real economic costs of refugees – becoming a burden in Europe

The 4 reasons not to accept refugees

Refugees: Good or bad for the economy – it costs $15,000 to resettle each refugee in the US

Dispersal and integration fails many refugees

All Refugee Files