Biden raises refugee cap to 62,500 after criticism from Democrats

US President Joe Biden speaks on the American Jobs Plan, following a tour of Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Virginia on May 3, 2021.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden will increase the annual U.S. refugee cap to 62,500 entrants for the fiscal 12 months, revising the a lot decrease quantity set beneath the Trump administration that “did not reflect America’s values,” he mentioned Monday.

“It is important to take this action today to remove any lingering doubt in the minds of refugees around the world who have suffered so much, and who are anxiously waiting for their new lives to begin,” the president mentioned in a press release.

Biden additionally mentioned he plans to set a cap of 125,000 refugee admissions for the next fiscal 12 months.

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The Biden administration confronted immense stress from Democrats and activists to shortly increase the refugee cap from the traditionally low restrict of 15,000 set beneath former President Donald Trump.

After Biden signaled in mid-April he would hold the Trump-era cap in place, lawmakers in his personal get together publicly tore into the Democratic president.

“President Biden has broken his promise to restore our humanity,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, mentioned on the time.

Soon after the backlash, the White House mentioned that there was “confusion” in its messaging and vowed to tackle the refugee cap by May 15.

Republicans, in the meantime, have slammed Biden’s dealing with of a surge of migrant arrivals alongside the U.S.-Mexico border. GOP lawmakers urged the administration to reinstate a few of Trump’s strict immigration insurance policies that Biden canceled when he took workplace. Media outlets also spoke out against the administration for limiting press access at reportedly overwhelmed border services on the top of the surge.

Biden’s assertion Monday afternoon mentioned the U.S. refugee program “embodies America’s commitment to protect the most vulnerable, and to stand as a beacon of liberty and refuge to the world.”

“It’s a statement about who we are, and who we want to be. So we are going to rebuild what has been broken and push hard to complete the rigorous screening process for those refugees already in the pipeline for admission,” the president mentioned.

But “the sad truth,” he famous, “is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year.”

“We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway. We have reopened the program to new refugees. And by changing the regional allocations last month, we have already increased the number of refugees ready for departure to the United States,” he mentioned.

Biden additionally acknowledged that his objective for subsequent 12 months of 125,000 refugee admissions “will still be hard to hit.”

“We might not make it the first year. But we are going to use every tool available to help these fully-vetted refugees fleeing horrific conditions in their home countries,” he mentioned. “This will reassert American leadership and American values when it comes to refugee admissions.”

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