May 3, 2021
By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — Cooperative Baptist Fellowship leaders welcomed President Biden’s announcement that his administration will raise the refugee ceiling to 62,500 people this fiscal year and plans to set a goal of 125,000 refugee admissions for fiscal year 2022.
This decision comes following President Biden signing an emergency determination on April 16 that only sped-up refugee admissions that had been stalled for months, but did not increase the refugee limit.
CBF leaders previously joined the chorus of dismay from faith leaders about this initial decision to maintain the historically low number of 15,000 refugee admissions into the U.S. this fiscal year. After hearing this outrage, President Biden reversed course promising to announce by May 15 an increase to the number of refugee resettlements. Read the earlier statement from CBF Advocacy here.
Stephen Reeves, who leads CBF’s advocacy work, expressed his thanks to President Biden for keeping his earlier commitment to refugees.
“We’re grateful that today President Biden made good on his previous commitment to refugees and those who welcome them to their new home in America,” said Reeves, who also serves as executive director of Fellowship Southwest. “While we understand the resettlement infrastructure has been significantly damaged in recent years, this should not diminish our resolve to remain a beacon of hope for the persecuted around the world. We have the resources; we need the will and political commitment. I hope that welcoming refugees will once again become an issue of bipartisan agreement.”
CBF field personnel Kim and Marc Wyatt share their appreciation for the increase to refugee admissions. The Wyatts are the founders of the Welcome House Community Network, a collaborative hospitality ministry serving refugees at locations across North Carolina and Tennessee.
“We celebrate President Biden’s announcement and the goodwill that it brings,” said Marc Wyatt. “The torch held by Lady Liberty shined bright again.”
“These past several years with record low resettlement numbers reflect real people—moms, dads, children and senior adults who by no fault of their own have endured hardship and suffering,” said Kim New Wyatt. “Despite this reality, we have witnessed Americans, neighbors, ready and willing to do whatever they can to help welcome the neglected refugee.”
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith into practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.