SEARAC Responds to President’s FY2025 Budget Proposal

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the Biden administration released the Fiscal Year 2025 President’s Budget. The annual budget proposal details the President’s priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and, though non-binding, provides Congress with recommended funding levels for federal programs and activities.

The FY2025 proposal includes:

  • A nearly 4% increase from FY2023 for the Department of Education towards mental health programs and multilingual learners, including hiring more bilingual teachers – these funds can be crucial investments for Southeast Asian American (SEAA) students who continue to face significant barriers to accessing mental health and linguistically and culturally appropriate supports and services.
  • Increases to the maximum Pell Grant and the Minority Serving Institutions Program, which includes Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions – these critical programs can better prepare SEAA students who continue to face obstacles to attaining economic mobility and educational opportunity.
  • Increased funding to the Department of Health and Human Services compared to FY2024 to expand Medicare and community-based services – this expanded budget has the potential to increase access to care for older SEAA adults.

However, while the budget includes critically needed funding for refugee resettlement, SEARAC opposes the President’s request for a nearly $2 billion increase to immigration enforcement.

“As refugees who came to the United States to escape war, violence, and persecution, SEAAs know firsthand the critical, life-saving importance of a functional and humane immigration and asylum system,” said Quyên Đinh, Executive Director of SEARAC. “At the same time, we must ensure continued safety for refugees and immigrants once they’re in the United States, which means providing them with opportunities and keeping families together, not ramping up detention and deportation. We urge Congress to divert funding that would otherwise be used to incarcerate immigrants and refugees toward programs that would strengthen our communities and make families whole.