Urge President Trump to Allow Refugees, Including Religious Minorities, Come to the United States

By the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30th), the Administration was required to consult with Congress and determine the number of refugees allowed to be admitted to the U.S., a process known as the”Presidential Determination” (PD). So far, the Administration has only sent recommendations to Congress for a PD of 15,000. They must still consult with Congress about the recommendation and set the final number.

If the Presidential Determination for FY2021 is finalized at 15,000 refugees, it will be the fourth consecutive year that our country will have the lowest refugee admissions goal in the program’s history. Meanwhile, there are over 26 million refugees worldwide with over 1.44 million in need of resettlement. Also, these decreases have already meant lost protection for religious minorities, for example in 2016, 1524 Iraqi Christians received refuge in the United States, in 2019, only 86 did- a 94% decrease (see below).

As Catholics, we affirm the inherent dignity of every person and the ability of refugees to seek security and safety for themselves and family members. We continue to be deeply concerned that further reducing refugee resettlement numbers mean that refugees fleeing persecution are left in harm’s way, that refugee families are left separated across the continents and that the U.S. retreats in its global leadership position.

Learn more about refugees and refugee resettlement on the USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants resource page.

Mission Statement

Grounded by our belief in Jesus Christ and Catholic teaching, Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) fulfills the commitment of the U.S. Catholic bishops to protect the life and dignity of the human person. We serve and advocate for refugees, asylees, migrants, unaccompanied children, and victims of human trafficking.

Who We Are

The Bishops' Committee on Migration sets broad policies and direction for the Church's work in the area of migration. The Committee oversees and provides guidance to Migration and Refugee Services, which is comprised of five offices, including the Office of the Executive Director, the Office of Management and Administration and several policy and program offices:

Office of Special Programs

What We Do

The above MRS offices represent the bishops' interests in policy formulation and communication, advocacy, education, refugee resettlement, and other specialized services to at risk and vulnerable populations, such as victims of trafficking and unaccompanied minors. The Committee actively promotes the U.S. bishops' migration-related interests with public policy-makers at the national and international levels. Committee members and MRS staff periodically testify before Congress and meet with Administration officials to advocate the bishops' positions. Among the high priority policy concerns of the Committee is refugee protection and finding durable solutions to their plight. In this context the Committee occasionally arranges site visits to refugee areas of the world to witness the conditions of the refugees and to call for adequate responses on the part of the international community.


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