New York Daily News
Prez raises cap on refugee admissions
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday formally raised the nation’s cap on refugee admissions to 62,500 this year, weeks after facing bipartisan blowback for his delay in replacing the record-low ceiling of 15,000 set by former President Donald Trump.
Biden last month moved to expand the eligibility criteria for resettlements, removing one roadblock to refugees entering the U.S. put in place by Trump, but he had initially stopped short of lifting the annual cap, with aides saying they did not believe it was necessary.
But Biden faced sharp pushback for not at least taking the symbolic step of authorizing more refugees to enter the U.S. this year and swiftly reversed course.
Biden, in a statement, said the new limit “erases the historically low number set by the previous administration,” adding that Trump’s cap “did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees.”
Biden said it was a “sad truth” that the U.S. would not meet the 62,500 cap by the end of the fiscal year in September, given the pandemic and limitations on the country’s resettlement capabilities — some of which his administration has attributed to the Trump’s policies to restrict immigration. That said, administration officials maintain Biden remains committed to setting the cap at 125,000 for the 2022 fiscal year that starts in October, while they were working to improve U.S. capabilities to process refugees under the new cap.
The new allocation instituted by Biden added more slots for refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Central America and ended Trump’s restrictions on resettlements from Somalia, Syria and Yemen.