Friday, 30 July, 2021


Joe Biden to lift Donald Trump’s cap on refugees amid criticism

White House backtracks on refugees decision after criticism Biden Administration, in Response to Criticism, Says It Will Lift Refugee Cap Next Month
Noah Ferguson | 19 April, 2021, 22:25

How many refugees will the United States accept?

Biden also plans on lifting Trump's restrictions on resettlements from Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

© Elias Marcou/Reuters, FILE Refugees and migrants make their way in the Mavrovouni camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece, March 29, 2021.

Under the order Biden signed, the administration modified the allocation of refugee slots. The cap pertains to the number of refugees who are allowed to enter the U.S.in a fiscal year.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden has been consulting with advisors to "determine what number of refugees could realistically be admitted to the United States between now and October 1". "But now we are going to increase the number", he said.

Data provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) showed that agents have apprehended 172,000 illegal aliens along the border in March, leading Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, to say it is "the biggest surge that we've ever seen in the history of the Border Patrol".

"Completely and utterly unacceptable", Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY tweeted. "Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and people voted for him based on that promise".

During the campaign, Biden vowed to raise the refugee cap to 125,000.

Among them is Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a Somali refugee who arrived in the USA as a child in 1995.

His commitment to the cap, set by his predecessor Donald Trump, drew criticism from lawmakers and refugee advocacy groups. "President Biden has broken his promise to restore our humanity".

But around the same time, the Biden administration sent a report to Congress that proposed raising the maximum number of refugees allowed in this fiscal year to 62,500.

Republicans have blamed Biden for the situation at the border, faulting his moves to reverse other Trump-era hardline immigration policies. The White House also blamed Trump for decimating the resettlement program in the USA, while the senior administration official cited the COVID-19 pandemic without elaborating.

"It is a factor", Psaki said, adding that the Office of Refugee Resettlement "does management and has personnel working on both issues and so we have to ensure that there is capacity and ability to manage both".

But the program for admitting refugees is distinct from the asylum system for migrants.

"Refugee resettlement has nothing to do with what is happening at the border".

Joe Biden is hardly the sharpest tool in the shed.

"Failing to issue a new determination undermines your declared objective to reverse your predecessor's refugee policies and to rebuild the Refugee Admissions Program to a target of 125,000 people in FY22, and threatens US leadership on forced migration", he wrote. "And so, we had to rebuild some of those muscles and put it back in place".

That answer mirrors a similar logic at play across the Biden administration's immigration policies, where deportations have continued unabated since Trump left office in January, but now under the pretext of protecting public health.

The White House indicated the border situation was partly why Biden had not acted before now, even though migrants at the border do not go through the same vetting process as refugees. The far left-wing politicians labeled Biden's failure to raise the refugee cap as "racist", "xenophobic", "unconscionable", and "utterly unacceptable".

'There was an increase of unaccompanied children at the border, ' Psaki pointed out.

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