New York Daily News

Prez raises cap on refugee admissions

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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.

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