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 Group School in Norfolk, Virginia on Might 3, 2021.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Photos

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 below the Trump administration that “didn’t mirror America’s values,” he mentioned Monday.

“You will need to take this motion at the moment to take away any lingering doubt within the minds of refugees world wide who’ve suffered a lot, and who’re anxiously ready for his or her new lives to start,” 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 strain from Democrats and activists to shortly increase the refugee cap from the traditionally low restrict of 15,000 set below former President Donald Trump.

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

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

Quickly after the backlash, the White Home mentioned that there was “confusion” in its messaging and vowed to handle the refugee cap by Might 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 retailers additionally spoke out towards the administration for limiting press entry at reportedly overwhelmed border amenities on the peak of the surge.

Biden’s assertion Monday afternoon mentioned the U.S. refugee program “embodies America’s dedication to guard essentially the most susceptible, and to face as a beacon of liberty and refuge to the world.”

“It is a assertion about who we’re, and who we need to be. So we’re going to rebuild what has been damaged and push laborious to finish the rigorous screening course of for these refugees already within the pipeline for admission,” the president mentioned.

However “the unhappy fact,” he famous, “is that we’ll not obtain 62,500 admissions this 12 months.”

“We’re working shortly to undo the injury of the final 4 years. It can take a while, however that work is already underway. We have now reopened this system to new refugees. And by altering the regional allocations final month, now we have already elevated the variety of refugees prepared for departure to the USA,” he mentioned.

Biden additionally acknowledged that his aim for subsequent 12 months of 125,000 refugee admissions “will nonetheless be laborious to hit.”

“We’d not make it the primary 12 months. However we’re going to use each instrument accessible to assist these fully-vetted refugees fleeing horrific situations of their dwelling international locations,” he mentioned. “This can reassert American management and American values relating to refugee admissions.”

That is breaking information. Please verify again for updates.

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