Joe Biden

Statement on World Refugee Day

June 20, 2023

On World Refugee Day, we join nations around the world in honoring the bravery and resilience of millions of refugees forced to flee violence and oppression. Together, as we celebrate their diverse contributions to the fabric of our communities, we renew our support to citizens and organizations who step up to provide them with critical care, services, and assistance.

Today, nearly 110 million people have been forced to leave their homes around the world, more refugees than at any other time in history. Russia's brutal and unjust assault of Ukraine forced millions to seek safety in other countries at a rate not seen since World War II. Meanwhile, men, women, and children who have been displaced for years—from Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan—have little hope for a solution to their displacement.

That is why my administration has worked hard to rebuild the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. The United States plans to welcome 125,000 refugees next year, a level not achieved in three decades. We have also strengthened the U.S. resettlement program, including advancing opportunities for refugees to find work and contribute to our economy. In January, we launched the Welcome Corps, a new private sponsorship program that enables Americans to play a leading role in welcoming refugees as they build new lives in communities across the country. The United States continues to be the single largest provider of humanitarian assistance for refugees worldwide, including health care, clean water, and education, in partnership with international and nongovernmental partners, to tens of millions of refugees and the communities hosting them around the world.

But refugee protection is a shared, transnational challenge that requires shared solutions. That is why we are working with regional partners in our own hemisphere to provide protection and support for stabilization and integration to those in need, in alignment with the Los Angeles Declaration for Migration and Protection. We are working with the World Bank and the United Nations to strengthen refugee inclusion around the world, because when refugees are allowed to work, they contribute to the economy and strengthen the communities that host them.

Welcoming refugees is part of who we are as Americans; our Nation was founded by those fleeing religious persecution. When we take action to help refugees around the world and include them, we honor this past and are stronger for it. And together, we create a more hopeful and better future, one that embodies our highest values.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on World Refugee Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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