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RELEASE: National Security Leaders Praise Administration's Plans to Increase Refugee Gap - With Caveats

September 22, 2021

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jill Jackson

Washington, DC — The Biden administration’s plans to increase the cap on refugees seeking resettlement in the United States is drawing praise from leaders on the Council on National Security and Immigration (CNSI) — with caveats.

The CNSI urges the administration to couple the announcement with serious efforts to bolster the pipeline and streamline and improve vetting procedures, such as allocating funding and resources to the National Vetting Center and improving coordination and capacity among agencies involved in the vetting process. These steps are key to ensuring effective, efficient, and safe processing of refugees, in line with our national security objectives.

“While this is a critical step, it will be merely symbolic absent tangible action to strengthen the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP),” said Elizabeth Neumann, Founding CNSI Leader and former DHS Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention. “Attempting to achieve a higher target requires immediate investments in the personnel, technology, and process improvements needed for the USRAP. Strong refugee policies bolster our national security, but this requires investment and leadership on the parts of Congress and the Biden administration.”

As the CNSI said in May, welcoming vulnerable refugees and championing the ideals of democracy, freedom, and human rights signals to the world that the U.S. remains a humanitarian leader. For more on refugees from the national security perspective, please see the December 2020 paper “Robust Refugee Programs Aid National Security.”


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