St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church - Naperville, IL

Project Refugees: Build Back the Resettlement Program

Pope Francis, in his World Day of Migrants and Refugees Message, reflects that Jesus was forced to flee to safety in the time of Herod. “In the faces of the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, strangers and prisoners, we are called to see the face of Christ who pleads with us to help.”

Resettlement Program History

In 2017, the US Resettlement Goal was 110,000 refugees during the Syrian crisis. That goal has been reduced every year since. The goal for 2020 is 18,000. Each year the goal is set through the process of “Presidential Determination” which requires the President to consult with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees before setting the goal. 

Nearly two hundred organizations, including US Conference of Catholic Bishops and many Justice for Immigrants member organizations, have sent a letter to President Trump urging him to build back the U.S. resettlement program by setting a goal of 95,000 refugees for the coming year.

Take Action

But more needs to be done. As Catholics, we recognize the inherent dignity of each person, and hear the call of Jesus, who was part of a refugee family, to welcome immigrants and refugees. Refugees contribute greatly to the United States in ordinary times and have continued to contribute as essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis, including 176,000 refugees serving in the healthcare field and 175,000 laboring as part of the food supply chain. Resettlement will continue to be done safely as all refugees must and do undergo medical checks for COVID-like symptoms prior to entering the United States and are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Join us by urging your Members of Congress to promote refugee resettlement and ensure the President allow refugees to be resettled in the United States. Ask your elected official to meaningfully engage to urge the Administration:

  • To consult with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees regarding the refugee admissions goal for 2021 before September 30.
  • To build back the refugee resettlement program by setting the goal at the historic average of 95,000 refugees allowed to be admitted this year.

Please educate yourself on this issue, and if you are in agreement, go to to send a message to your US Senator and Representative. Thank for your consideration.

~ Immigration-Migration Initiative Ministry