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

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

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

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden will raise the yearly U.S. refugee cap to 62,500 entrants for the , modifying the much lower number set under the Trump administration that “did not reflect America’s values,” he stated 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 stated in a declaration.

Biden likewise stated he prepares to set a cap of 125,000 refugee admissions for the following .

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The Biden administration dealt with tremendous pressure from Democrats and activists to rapidly raise the refugee cap from the traditionally low limitation of 15,000 set under previous President Donald Trump.

After Biden signified in mid-April he would keep the Trump-age cap in location, legislators in his own celebration openly 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, stated at the time.

Soon after the reaction, the White House stated that there was “confusion” in its messaging and promised to resolve the refugee cap by May 15.

Republicans, on the other hand, have actually knocked Biden’s handling of a rise of migrant arrivals along the U.S.-Mexico border. GOP legislators prompted the administration to renew a few of Trump’s rigorous migration policies that Biden canceled when he took workplace. Media outlets likewise spoke up versus the administration for restricting press gain access to at supposedly overloaded border centers at the height of the rise.

Biden’s declaration Monday afternoon stated 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 stated.

But “the sad truth,” he kept in mind, “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 stated.

Biden likewise acknowledged that his objective for next year 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 stated. “This will reassert American leadership and American values when it comes to refugee admissions.”

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