“We were relieved to see you commit to increasing our refugee resettlement numbers so early in your Administration. But until the Emergency Presidential Determination is finalized, our refugee policy remains unacceptably draconian and discriminatory,” Reps. Ilhan Omar, who herself is a refugee, Pramila Jayapal and Jan Schakowsky wrote in a letter addressed to President Joe Biden that NCS obtained Friday.
The letter, which is being circulated and is cosigned by greater than 30 different House Democrats, provides additional strain from Capitol Hill Democrats on Biden to honor his dedication of permitting the United States to admit the next variety of refugees after his delay in signing off on raising the Trump-era refugee cap has led to the cancellation of a whole lot of refugee flights and left 1000’s of individuals anticipating to arrive within the US in limbo. Politico was the primary to report on the letter.
In their letter to Biden, the House lawmakers stated they had been “deeply distressed” after listening to about refugees cleared for resettlement having their flights canceled “at the last minute, in some cases having already left their residences and sold their belongings.”
The group argued that the US has an obligation to maintain guarantees made to “people who have fled unthinkably brutal conditions in their home countries and live up to our ambition to provide them a safe haven to re-start their lives.”
“There is immense and growing urgency on this issue, for the many who have already been approved for resettlement, and for the unimaginable number of people who continue to hold out hope that they can one day rebuild their lives destroyed by climate, conflict, and repression,” they wrote.
The White House introduced final week that Biden was dedicated to raising the refugee ceiling from 15,000 to enable up to 62,500 this fiscal 12 months however didn’t present a timeline.
NCS has reported, nevertheless, that Biden has held off on signing the paperwork due to political optics. Democratic lawmakers are involved that a part of the White House’s calculation is that raising the refugee cap now may turn into a political concern with the influx of migrants arriving on the US-Mexico border — regardless of the 2 being totally totally different conditions. State Department spokesperson Ned Price beforehand urged the delay was due to the efforts to get the refugee program again into form after the Trump administration.
Omar and the opposite House Democrats famous that Biden’s delay is at odds together with his commitments as president and warned that with out “immediate action,” the Biden administration is “currently on track to admit fewer refugees than any other President in U.S. history,” citing the International Rescue Committee.
“We know that this is not your intention, and not in accordance with your commitments as President or throughout your career in public service,” they wrote. “Until you finalize your proposed changes to the program, however, it remains a fact.”
NCS’s Kylie Atwood and Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.