Refugee slots are being wasted. Congress should know why.

Gil Guerra
Date of Publication: 
September, 2022
Source Organization: 

Earlier this month, the Biden administration released its proposal for refugee admissions for the coming fiscal year. This year’s report comes during a turbulent period for the refugee resettlement process, with a current shortfall of over 100,000 refugee spots left unfilled and an increasingly predictable tardiness on the part of the executive branch to set refugee targets well in advance or brief members of Congress on them regularly.

These two markers of dysfunction are interconnected. A lack of congressional oversight has enabled successive administrations to disrupt the refugee resettlement process and fail to live up to stated resettlement goals.

By law, Congress must play an active part in determining the overall number of refugees admitted to the United States each year, and the more granular distribution of slots to different global regions, through a process known as consultation. In practice, however, this role often appears perfunctory.

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Guerra, G. (2022, September). Refugee slots are being wasted. Congress should know why. Niskanen Center.