Letter to the Biden Administration in Support of Welcoming Refugees

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.


The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

The Honorable Xavier Becerra

Secretary of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear President Biden,

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to rebuild the refugee resettlement program and ensure that 125,000 refugees are welcomed for the 2022 fiscal year. For the past four years the Trump administration, led by Stephen Miller, harmed immigrants, undermining and attacking refugees at every turn. We opposed these xenophobic and cruel policies, welcomed your election, and are pleased to see your promise to welcome refugees and to increase the number of them admitted to the United States.

However, much work remains to be done. We are heartened by your decision to raise the refugee cap to 62,500 for the current fiscal year of 2021, and urge you to make the program’s reconstruction a top priority. We have heard stories of hundreds of refugees who have been approved for resettlement having their flights cancelled at the last minute, and other refugees trapped in legal limbo between countries. America must honor its promises to people who have fled oppression and violence in their home countries, and provide them a safe haven to rebuild their lives.

Tens of millions of refugees have fled their homes over the last decade. From Syrians fleeing civil war and atrocities, to Central Americans seeking to escape poverty and gang violence, to Rohingyas fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, to Uighurs fleeing mass repression in Xinjang; the need for aid and compassion has never been greater. The Trump administration’s racist bans on the resettlement of refugees from various areas disproportionately harmed people fleeing some of the worst crises.

Moreover, the world looks to the United States for moral leadership. Rising xenophobia at home and abroad has led to hostility, discrimination, and even violence against refugees. As a nation of immigrants the United States should embrace one of our best traditions and welcome large numbers of refugees, setting an example for the rest of the world. Refugees undergo thorough scrutiny and strengthen countries they settle in; a generous and welcoming policy will both help them and strengthen America.

Therefore, we urge you to set a refugee cap of 125,000 for the 2022 fiscal year, and to focus on expanding the refugee resettlement program even further, with a goal of welcoming and resettling a minimum of 300,000 refugees for the 2023 fiscal year. Moreover, the refugee cap can be used as an aspiration and a powerful statement of American values. We therefore also urge you to set an ultimate and constant refugee cap of 300,000.

Additionally, almost 17,000 Afghans risked their lives serving as interpreters and working with the U.S military over the past twenty years. Many of them will be in grave danger once the United States withdraws from Afghanistan. The administration should ensure that swift action is taken so all these translators and their families get special immigrant visas allowing them to come to the United States as soon as possible. Honor, compassion, and loyalty demand no less.

America is a formidable country that can and should welcome many refugees. Past Presidents have shown courage and fought to admit people fleeing oppression and violence. After World War II, President Harry Truman waged a fierce struggle to admit hundreds of thousands of displaced refugees, and stated that “we should do this, not only in our own self-interest, but also as a way to reaffirm the great tradition of freedom and opportunity which we have proved in our own experience to be the surest path of progress and prosperity.”[1]

The United States should embrace the words of Emma Lazarus inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, and “lift my lamp beside the golden door.”[2]

Thank you for your consideration. Please contact Michael DeLong at michaeldelong94@gmail.com if there are any questions.


Andrew Saundry

Montgomery County District 19 Democratic Club

Montgomery County Young Democrats 

[1] “Special Message to the Congress on Aid for Refugees and Displaced Persons.” Harry S. Truman. March 24, 1952. Available at https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/special-message-the-congress-aid-for-refugees-and-displaced-persons.

[2] “The New Colossus.” By Emma Lazarus. 1883. Available at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46550/the-new-colossus.