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special talents to the American "melting-pot." This tradition
is at the core of today's hearing on the President's proposed
refugee admissions level for Fiscal Year 1991,
The President's proposal for 131,000 worldwide refugee admissions in Fiscal Year 1991 includes the following regional
In addition to the total funded admissions level of 121,000,
we propose to continue the successful Private Sector Initiative program with an authorized ceiling of 10,000, available for refugees from any region of the world. Thus, the worldwide
total of the President's proposal is 131,000.
Mr. Chairman, a detailed justification of each of the admissions levels has been provided in the document entitled
Proposed Admissions for FY 1991, as submitted for the record.
Ambassador Lafontant Mankarious has included in her prepared
statement a regional description of the admissions programs we
I would like to review for you how we intend to fund
these admissions levels.
As I have noted, the President's proposal for a worldwide
admissions level of 131,000 refugees includes 10,000 admissions
from any region of the world to be sponsored privately under
the ongoing Private Sector Initiative (PSI) program. PSI refugees require no federal funding and are only admitted if the requisite private sector funding is provided. The question,
therefore, with the budget process not quite completed, is how
we will fund all the numbers in the remaining 121,000 ceiling.
The President's proposal for 121,000 funded refugee admissions reflects the fine-tuning of the refugee admissions
program that the consultations process provides; each of the
regional admissions totals has been revised since earlier
estimates were included in our Fiscal Year 91 budget
As a result of this process, the total of 121,000
funded admissions represents a net increase of 11,000 above the
budget request level, most of which falls within the ceiling for the Soviet Union. In Fiscal Year 1990, up to 8,000 Soviet
refugees were resettled through private funding by the Jewish
We fully appreciate the magnitude of that effort,
and recognize that it cannot easily be repeated in Fiscal Year
We have therefore raised the funded level of Soviet
refugees in Fiscal Year 1991 to 50,000.
The 121,000 figure is of course a ceiling, not a quota.
Nevertheless, we believe that through cost-saving measures and new approaches to financing transportation costs, funding appropriated at the President's original budget request level
can finance the projected 121,000 admissions.
Let me be
Our ability to make use of these additional numbers
will be dependent on (i) the appropriation of funds at the
President's requested level for Fiscal Year 1991,
(ii) successful participation of refugees and their sponsors in
financing a portion of transportation to the United States, and
(iii) our ability to implement other cost-saving measures. Subject to these constraints, we are fully committed to covering the full 121,000 admissions within the authorized
In closing, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to provide this update on some of our ongoing refugee policy
concerns, and our plans for refugee admissions in the coming
Your Committee's continued support of our refugee
programs worldwide is integral to our success.
STATEMENT OF JAMES H. HALL Mr. Hall. Thank you, Secretary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. I am pleased to have this opportunity to appear before the Judiciary Committee to testify on the President's proposed refugee admissions program for fiscal year 1991.
Ambassador-at-Large Lafontant-Mankarious, U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs, regrets very much that she cannot be here today. She is fulfilling a longstanding commitment to lead the United States delegation at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva this week. We have submitted Ambassador LafontantMankarious' statement for the record.
Senator SIMON (presiding]. Thank you. It will be entered in the record.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Lafontant-Mankarious follows:]