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04.05.2021 00:12 News >> Biden Raises Refugee Cap To 62,500 After Controversy

Biden Raises Refugee Cap To 62,500 After Controversy

US president slams Trump era historical low, saying it 'did not reflect America’s values'

President Joe Biden dramatically increased on Monday the US's refugee admissions cap, setting the new limit at 62,500 after he faced backlash at home.
The new figure, which will run through the current fiscal year that ends in September, marks a four-fold increase from a record low established under former President Donald Trump who allowed a maximum of just 15,000 refugees to enter the US. Trump worked year after year to curtail refugee admissions after inheriting an entry cap of 110,000.
Biden sharply criticized his predecessor's refugee policy, saying it "did not reflect America's values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees."
"The new admissions cap will also reinforce efforts that are already underway to expand the United States' capacity to admit refugees, so that we can reach the goal of 125,000 refugee admissions that I intend to set for the coming fiscal year," he said in a statement.
"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," he added.
Biden had faced sweeping criticism from fellow Democrats after the White House announced April 16 that it would maintain the Trump-era low due to Trump's efforts to hobble the US refugee program and deplete it of badly-needed resources, including personnel.
Amid mounting opposition spokeswoman Jen Psaki quickly announced an about-face from the heavily criticized decision, saying within hours that Biden would announce a new higher cap by May 15.
Biden acknowledged that the US will not hit its cap of 62,500 this year, calling it a "sad truth" caused by "the damage" to the refugee program inflicted by Trump.
"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," Biden said.
The president was referring to an executive order he issued in April that opened refugee admission to regions purposefully excluded by Trump, and expedited admissions. -



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