The Biden administration is set to formally raise its cap on refugee admissions to 62,500 for the fiscal year, the White House announced on Monday after facing blowback last month for initially announcing it would keep limits set by former President Donald Trump.
“Today, I am revising the United States’ annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “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 underway 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.”
The administration also added that, though it was not likely to reach 62,500 admissions this year, the White House aimed to “to use every tool available to help these fully-vetted refugees fleeing horrific conditions in their home countries. This will reassert American leadership and American values when it comes to refugee admissions.”
Last month, the administration initially said it would keep Trump’s record-low refugee target at just 15,000 for the remainder of this fiscal year despite pledging to increase that number on the campaign trail. Immigration advocates and top Democrats slammed that decision as “incoherent” and “cruel.” Mere hours later, the White House walked back that initial number, and said it would announce the new cap in the upcoming weeks.
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