World Refugee Day 2019
June 21, 2019 •

WASHINGTON— Thursday, June 20 was World Refugee Day which is observed in the United States and around the world. World Refugee Day, first celebrated in 2000, is designed to increase awareness of refugees.

Currently, the world is embroiled in the biggest migratory crisis since World War II with more than 25 million refugees around the world.

“We have seen the images of the refugee crisis, and World Refugee Day calls attention to the critical need to assist our refugee brothers and sisters and make them feel a sense of welcome,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration.  “It is imperative for us to highlight the contributions refugees make in our communities.”

The Presidential Determination for refugee resettlement was set at an all-time low of 30,000 refugees for the current fiscal year. This comes only one year after half of the 45,000 refugees set forth by the Administration’s determination were resettled in the United States.

USCCB/MRS, with Catholic Charities USA, will be participating in a Capitol Hill briefing on Thursday for members of Congress and their staff.  The briefing will include information about the root causes forcing refugees to flee their home country and the impact of refugee resettlement in the United States. More information on World Refugee Day can be found on the Justice for Immigrants website.