Immigration Equality Responds to President Biden’s Action on Refugee Admissions

New York, NY (May 3, 2021) — Immigration Equality Executive Director Aaron C. Morris released the following statement:

Today, the White House announced that it would accept resettlement of up to 62,500 refugees by September 30, 2021. This is an encouraging step towards President Biden’s goal of welcoming up to 125,000 refugees per fiscal year. We laud the reversal of the Trump administration’s scorched earth campaign to dismantle the infrastructure that allowed for refugee resettlement. As the President has declared, America should always lead the world in welcoming those fleeing persecution.

While we praise this important development, we urge the Biden administration not to forget the unique plight of many LGBTQ refugees. In all but 29 countries, marriage is denied to same-sex couples. And so, while different-sex spouses are resettled as a family, unmarried life partners are forced apart. No one should have to choose between their safety and their family.

On February 4, President Biden signaled support to validate the relationships of refugee same-sex couples who have no access to marriage. Such a change would bring the U.S. further in line with the President’s commitment to LGBTQ equality, and be an important example for all other nations that value human rights. The Biden administration’s move today is a giant leap forward. It should make clear that this protection extends to all refugees.