Politics

Biden to Quadruple Refugee Cap | Voice of America

WHITE HOUSE – U.S. President Joe Biden, who initially determined to hold intact his predecessor’s traditionally low quantity of annual refugee admissions, Monday introduced he’s quadrupling this year’s complete.  

“I am revising the United States’ annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year,” the president stated in a press release Monday afternoon. “This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which 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 under way 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.”  

President Joe Biden speaks at Tidewater Community College, in Portsmouth, Va., May 3, 2021.

Two weeks in the past, the White House introduced that the cap for the present fiscal year could be saved at 15,000, the extent set by former President Donald Trump. That announcement got here regardless of Biden’s promise that after his inauguration in January he would considerably increase this system. The transfer prompted a backlash from some of his fellow Democrats in Congress, in addition to refugee advocates.   

White House officers have acknowledged that the earlier announcement, issued when opposition Republicans have been criticizing Biden for an inflow of migrants on the U.S. southern border, didn’t ship the proper message. Monday’s announcement, they are saying, reinforces that admitting refugees is essential to America’s place on this planet.  

“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,” stated Biden in his assertion. “The sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year. We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already under way.”  

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a joint information convention in London, May 3, 2021.

Shortly after the president’s announcement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged: “It is in our DNA as a nation to open our door to those seeking refuge, and it remains in our national interest to treat individuals applying for these programs fairly and with dignity and respect.”  

Refugees International President Eric P. Schwartz known as it “a proud and historic moment.” He added, “At a time of great humanitarian need, welcoming refugees is not only a moral imperative, but also promotes U.S. national security, bolsters our economy, enriches our communities, and demonstrates that we’re willing to work together with other governments on some of the world’s most complex problems.” 

While elevating the refugee cap is welcome, “the reality is that this is coming too late in the year to make a real impact,” in accordance to Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute director of immigration research. “Refugee agencies are so overburdened that we’ll be lucky if one-quarter of the new 62,500 cap is filled this year.”

FILE – People are detained by a U.S. Border Patrol agent after crossing the Rio Bravo River to flip themselves in to request asylum in El Paso, Texas, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, March 29, 2021.

There is a “need for systematic reform, expansion and privatization of the refugee system so that a future administration like Trump’s won’t have the ability to kill such an important program at the stroke of a pen,” Nowrasteh informed VOA.  

Republican lawmaker Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, noting Biden had dedicated final month to conserving Trump’s cap in place, calls the president’s resolution to improve the quantity of refugees “a direct threat to our national security and public health safety.”  

The Republican Study Committee, the most important conservative caucus within the House of Representatives, objected to the transfer.

“During the highest influx of illegal immigration our country has seen in 20 years, @JoeBiden just raised the refugee cap over 400%. Let’s be clear: this self-inflicted crisis is absolutely intentional,” it posted on Twitter. 

Trump, throughout his 4 years as president, had pared the scale of the refugee program, which is distinct from the asylum system for migrants.  

“The most powerful thing we can do as a country is to lead by example,” stated Andrew Albertson, government director of Foreign Policy for America. “Today’s announcement from President Biden makes it clear that the United States is ready to lead again.” 

The chairman of the Senate’s international relations committee, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, stated Biden’s announcement is “an important step in continuing our proud, bipartisan tradition of providing refugees protection through resettlement.”  
 



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