On Friday, the Biden administration announced (and then hours later, backtracked) that it would retain Trump’s refugee admissions goal of 15,000–a cap that was historically low and that many of us mobilized against during that last Administration–despite their explicit promise to raise the goal to 62,500. After outcry about this on Friday, the White House issued a second statement that shared their plan to release a new admissions goal by May 15th. There is no reason for this delay and it leaves thousands of refugees and their families stuck in between the cracks of this system. A delay like this can throw off the entire process of finding a safer life, of resettlement and reunification with family.

The pressure from constituents triggered this reconsideration within 24 hours. Let’s keep up that pressure with partners around the country and tell the Biden Administration we want to see that admissions increase today–not wait for a vague promise to come true on May 15th. The White House and Members of Congress need to hear loud and clear: we welcome refugees here! Below are three ways you can support this effort, gathered by CWS and World Relief:

  • Contact elected officials
    • Use this tool from anywhere to get in touch with your Representatives
    • Locally, here are the numbers to call and leave a message:

Call the White House: (202) 456-1111

Call Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers: (509) 353-2374

Call Sen. Maria Cantwell: (509) 353-2507

Call Sen. Patty Murray: (509) 624-9515

Nervous to call? Here’s a great sample script from World Relief:

“Please hold President Biden accountable to his promises. We encourage him to sign a revised refugee Presidential Determination of 62,500 for this fiscal year. This is a promise he publicly made in February at the State Department to restore U.S. leadership on refugee protection. The U.S. refugee admissions program offers a glimmer of hope to some of the most vulnerable people around the world, and we must keep that glimmer of hope alive.

Many Americans throughout the country are eager to welcome these new neighbors into our communities. The President’s signature is needed to allow refugees, who have in many cases already been waiting for years or even decades, to finally find protection in the U.S. We urge you to take action immediately.”

  • Write for Local Media
    • PJALS members consistently get thoughtful Letters to the Editor (LTEs) published and this is a perfect opportunity!
    • Click here for a sample op-ed and email pitch to the editors. Write an opinion editorial, a letter to the editor, a blog, or something for your newsletter. Here are some talking points you can use.

Let’s lend our local voices to this important national issue and send an overwhelming message of support for refugees. If you’re published or hear back, please let us know so we can amplify your story!