Joe Biden keeps the number of refugees allowed in the United States at historically low levels each year, disappointing activists and some Democrats.
The maximum number allowed is 15,000, which Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump has set as president.
Just two months ago, President Biden proposed a plan to raise the cap to 62,500.
He is reportedly concerned about the optics of accepting more people in the influx at the US-Mexico border.
On Friday, Mr. Biden signed an order aimed at speeding refugee entry into the United States-more than 2,000 people have entered the country since October.
The order will also change the quota of authorized persons, provide more slots for arrivals from Africa, the Middle East and Central America, and end restrictions on resettlement from Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
However, there is no change to the 15,000 limit. Nearly 85,000 people resettled during President Barack Obama’s term last year.
The White House has shown that restrictions may still be raised, and spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “I see how ineffective the refugee treatment system is or how it was somehow put in the trash. It took me a while to evaluate it. “
U.S. officials told Reuters that the administration was concerned that it would look “too open” as the number of immigrants arriving at the Mexican border increased.
The decision surprised some Democrats. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez called the number “terribly low.” Dozens of other party members wrote to President Biden prior to the decision to urge him to raise the cap.
The International Rescue Committee said it was “extremely disappointed” and urged the United States to return to “global leadership” of refugees.
According to UN statistics, there are more than 80 million refugees worldwide, 85% of whom are accepted in developing countries.