“Today, I am revising the United States’ annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year,” Biden said in a statement Monday afternoon. “The sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year.”
Biden claimed his administration was unable to accept the tens of thousands of refugees seeking admission because of the “damage” the Trump administration did to the government agencies tasked with overseeing the process.
“We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway,” Biden said. “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.
The move comes nearly three weeks after Biden said he would not raise the cap to 62,500 in fiscal year 2021 despite promising during the campaign to do so. Instead, he moved to allow an additional several thousand refugees from countries in Africa, Central America, and the Middle East. Within hours, the White House reversed plans following pushback from Democrats and liberal organizations and said it would announce the increase in May.
Donald Trump’s 2021 refugee admissions cap was the lowest rate in 40 years, 15,000.
Just 2,000 refugees have been resettled in the U.S. this year, which began Oct. 1, 2020, and will end Sept. 30. Biden has dragged his feet on amending that number in the three months since taking office as more than 172,000 migrants illegally came across the southern border in March alone, many of whom may seek asylum. Asylum-seekers are refugees who travel to the U.S. to gain admission at ports of entry or after illegally crossing the border, whereas refugees apply while they are outside the country.
Biden’s 2022 budget proposal gave the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement $4.3 billion to rebuild the country’s refugee resettlement infrastructure in a way that can support the 125,000 people he recommended admitting in the coming year. The proposed amount was an indication the White House did intend to keep the president’s promise as a candidate to increase the cap on accepting people fleeing persecution or dire circumstances after the number was pushed down under Trump.
Author : Anna Giaritelli
Source : Washington Examiner : Biden raises refugee cap to 62,500