Biden raises Trump-era refugee cap in May amid opposition from Democrats


Washington-White House says refugees will be allowed to resettle in the United States next month after President Joe Biden on Friday faced public protests against a surprising decision to keep the Trump era cap. He said he plans to increase the number.

The administration said Biden would sign an urgent decision to maintain the fiscal year’s goal of entering 15,000 refugees. This is a historically low number set by former President Donald Trump. The move was a sudden reversal of his promise to raise the cap to 62,500, prompting an immediate blowback between democratic allies and advocates.

Instead, the order lifts refugee immigration restrictions on areas previously blocked by the Trump administration, such as Africa and the Middle East, and the president “needs to increase entry numbers to further address unexpected emergencies.” If there is, “he said he would consult Congress.

Hours later, White House spokesman Jen Psaki said the president would determine the number of refugees “realistically accepted by the United States” between now and October 1 at the end of the fiscal year. He said he was in talks with his adviser.

“Given the refugee recognition program we have inherited and the burden of the Refugee Resettlement Administration, his original goal of 62,500 is unlikely,” she said in a statement.

Mr. Saki said Mr. Biden was asked to immediately revoke the ban on refugees from certain areas by his predecessor.

“Once this is done, the president hopes to set a final refugee cap for the rest of the year by May 15,” she said.

February, Secretary of State Announced by Antony Blinken The United States allowed 62,500 refugees to resettle, saying the move was “justified by serious humanitarian concerns.”

Democrats and human rights groups have blown up previous announcements that caps remain the same for now.

Minnesota lawmaker Ilhan Omar called for Biden’s decision to keep the Trump-era cap “shameful.”

“As a refugee, I know that finding a home is a matter of life and death for children around the world,” tweeted Omar, a refugee whose family fled the Somali Civil War in the 1990s. “It’s a shame that @POTUS has reiterated its important commitment to welcome refugees.”

Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal called the decision “unacceptable and unconscionable,” and Biden “broke his promise to restore our humanity.”

In a statement, she said, “We cannot turn our back on refugees around the world, including hundreds of refugees who are ready to sell their belongings and fly with permission to resettle. “.

Biden’s decision takes place when the world is facing an unprecedented refugee crisis. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are more than 25 million refugees worldwide as of mid-2020.

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“Trashed” refugee system during border crisis

The administration has struggled to control the influx of immigrants, especially young people, Appears on the southern border of the United States..

Refugee resettlement programs are separate from border issues, but White House spokesman Jen Psaki said on Friday that “it is a factor.”

The Refugee Resettlement Administration “has control and staff to address both issues, so we need to make sure we have the ability and ability to manage both,” she said.

Saki added that the delay was partly due to the overhaul needed to rebuild the previous refugee program. Significant reduction by Trump administration..

“It took time to see and evaluate how ineffective the refugee treatment system was, or somehow put it in the trash, so we rebuilt some of these muscles to the original. I had to put it back in place, “she said.

The Trump administration repeatedly reduced the number of refugees allowed to come to the United States, and Trump himself often attacked immigrants with particularly severe rhetoric.

During the October 2020 campaign outage in Minnesota, Trump attacked Biden directly on this issue. Biden “will turn Minnesota into a refugee camp … overwhelming public resources, overcrowded schools, and a flood of your hospital,” he said.

The government plans to use all 15,000 slots in fiscal year 2021, but instead changes the allocation to include areas that were excluded under the administration of former President Donald Trump, such as Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. .. Conditions for anonymity for discussing issues.

As of March 31, the United States has so far accepted 2,050 refugees under the Trump administration’s 15,000 limit, according to the latest report. Data from the refugee processing center.

Prior to Friday’s reversal, Parliamentary Democrats were pressing Biden to formulate a cap of 62,500 refugees.

“We must keep our promise to those who have responded to our ambitions to escape the unthinkable cruelty of our homeland and provide them with a safe haven to resume their lives. “No,” more than 40 Democrats wrote to Biden. Published shortly before the White House decision.

Democrats, supporters criticize plan

Parliament’s major Biden allies have blown up the Biden administration’s decision.

Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Trump’s 15,000 limit was the lowest refugee resettlement limit since the start of the refugee resettlement program 40 years ago.

He said the Biden administration’s delay in issuing revised refugee caps “not only hindered the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States, but also met the State Department, which is currently waiting in the system. It is no longer possible to admit refugees who have not been scrutinized. ” In the unprecedented narrow refugee category designated by the Trump administration. “

Menendez said the delay meant that the United States could actually accept less than 15,000 refugees, calling it “a surprisingly low level of admission set by the previous administration.”

Melanie Nether, a spokeswoman for the refugee resettlement HIAS, did not explain that the new clarification would wait two months to deallocate restricted areas, resulting in flights. He said it had been canceled and refugees had to wait for resettlement.

“Now, wait two months and lose those two months, which results in no increase in immigration. It’s almost worse than he said out of the gate. Two months “She said, because she lost her refugee entry. “These are individual human beings, not numbers.”

She also said Saki’s statement did not mention why the administration tied the decision to the border.

“We resettled refugees in a third country when there were many asylum seekers at the border and few asylum seekers,” she said. “It’s kind of unexplained why we were able to resettle refugees now, as we’ve been doing for decades.”

Refugees and asylum-seekers must show that they are persecuted or afraid of persecution in their own country because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.Refugees claim from abroad, asylum seekers claim to arrive in the United States

The new allocation will allow about 7,000 people to escape persecution from Africa. 1,000 people from East Asia. 1,500 from Europe and Central Asia. 3,000 people from Latin America and the Caribbean. 1,600 from the Near East and South Asia. According to people familiar with the matter, the government reserves an additional 1,000 for use as needed.

Officials said the government would also work with Congress to increase admission to further address “unexpected emergencies.”

This article was originally published in USA TODAY: Refugee cap: Biden to raise the bar in the Trump era after public protests

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