Biden raises refugee cap to 62,500 after blowback

2021-05-04 02:42:42

“I’m revising the US’ annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal 12 months,” Biden stated in a prolonged assertion Monday. “This erases the traditionally low quantity set by the earlier administration of 15,000, which didn’t replicate America’s values as a nation that welcomes and helps refugees.”

Biden stated he plans to set a objective of 125,000 refugee admissions for fiscal 12 months 2022 as effectively, according to a dedication he made in his first international coverage deal with on the State Division.

Monday’s announcement will get the administration again to its preliminary proposal that was launched in February. The administration abruptly reversed course final month, when it introduced that Biden would signal an emergency willpower that saved this 12 months’s refugee cap at 15,000, however not increase it as he had dedicated to doing. The transfer confronted speedy blowback from refugee teams and Democratic lawmakers annoyed by the sudden shift.

Monday, Biden stated taking motion on the cap will “take away any lingering doubt within the minds of refugees around the globe who’ve suffered a lot, and who’re anxiously ready for his or her new lives to start.”

“The unhappy reality is that we are going to not obtain 62,500 admissions this 12 months,” the President continued. “We’re working shortly to undo the harm of the final 4 years. It is going to take a while, however that work is already underway.”

Biden additionally stated his objective of 125,000 refugee admissions inside the first fiscal 12 months of his presidency “will nonetheless be arduous to hit.”

“We’d not make it the primary 12 months. However we’re going to use each software obtainable to assist these fully-vetted refugees fleeing horrific situations of their residence nations,” he continued. Refugee caps are sometimes seen as a objective to be reached.

As of March 31, solely 2,050 refugees had been admitted to the US this fiscal 12 months underneath Trump’s 15,000 cap, in line with the Refugee Processing Heart, which is a part of the State Division.

Four families separated at the US-Mexico border under Trump to be reunited this week
The admissions ceiling is damaged down into regional allocations, together with 22,000 slots for Africa, 6,000 for East Asia, 4,000 for Europe and Central Asia, 5,000 for Latin America and the Caribbean,13,000 for Close to East and South Asia, and a reserve of 12,500.
Final month, the White Home backtracked after Biden described the inflow of migrant kids on the nation’s southern border as a “disaster,” in what seemed to be a notable shift in language.

“We’re gonna enhance the numbers. The issue was that the refugee half was engaged on the disaster that ended up on the border with younger folks and we could not do two issues directly. And now we will enhance the numbers,” Biden stated on the time.

CNN beforehand reported Biden resisted signing off on elevating the Trump-era refugee cap due to political optics. The President’s hesitation got here because the administration confronted warmth from Republicans and Democrats for its dealing with of an inflow of migrants on the US-Mexico border. However the scenario on the US southern border is separate from the refugee program, which dates again a long time and has a radical vetting course of in place for refugees abroad to resettle within the US.

CNN’s Jake Tapper requested Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Monday whether or not politics performed an element within the administration’s waffling on the problem.

“Why was there such a lot backwards and forwards about this refugee cap? Was the hesitancy nearly politics?” Tapper stated.

“The President has been dedicated to the refugee program and to rebuilding it and regaining our standing as a world chief within the refugee affairs since day one, and that has been unwavering. We’re very pleased with the announcement immediately, and it displays that enduring dedication,” Mayorkas replied.

Refugee advocates applauded Monday’s announcement.

“President Biden has reaffirmed what so many People have lengthy identified — refugees are welcome right here and are a blessing to our communities. The brand new admissions ceiling displays our core values as a welcoming nation, and eventually aligns public coverage with the unprecedented international want of hundreds of thousands pressured from their residence by violence, struggle, and persecution,” stated Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, in a press release.

David Miliband, president and CEO of the Worldwide Rescue Committee, echoed that, saying: “When America welcomes refugees it’s the better of America, leaning on its distinguished custom and long-held values of offering refuge to these fleeing violence and political persecution.”

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.

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