Andrew Harnick / AP
President Biden announced Monday that his administration is raising the refugee reception limit to 62,500 for this fiscal year, well above the 15,000 limit set by the Trump administration but under a previous campaign promise.
“It is important to take these actions today to remove all remaining doubts in the minds of refugees around the world who have suffered so much and who are looking forward to starting a new life,” the president said in a statement.
Biden said the earlier border “does not reflect America’s values as a nation” and that the United States has a “commitment to protect the most vulnerable.”
But in April, the Biden administration heard a statement about the cap – initially saying it would keep former President Donald Trump’s low ceiling, but then, after criticism from fellow Democrats, said it would follow a campaign promise to admit more refugees this fiscal year. .
Even with the 15,000 place limit so far, only about 2,000 refugees have been admitted by the end of March, in the first half of fiscal 2021, according to the Refugee Processing Center.
Biden acknowledged in a statement Monday that the 62,500 level would not actually be reached, accusing his predecessor’s work of putting the administration so far behind to achieve its goal.
“The sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 recognitions for this [fiscal] year. We are working quickly to repair the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but this work is already underway, “Biden said.
Biden has vowed to pursue his campaign’s goal of accepting 125,000 refugees in the next fiscal year, which begins in October. “This goal will still be difficult to achieve. We may not achieve it in the first year. But we will use all available tools to help these fully tested refugees fleeing the appalling conditions in their home countries.”
According to current funds, the United States will be able to accept the most refugees, 22,000, from Africa. Thousands more are expected from East and South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Central Asia and more.
The charity Oxfam praised the Biden administration for raising the ceiling, but criticized Biden and Trump for wasting time helping with global refugee crises.
“We are pleased that the Biden administration, after a long and unnecessary delay, has kept its promise to raise the refugee reception limit for this year to 62,500,” said Noah Gotschalk, Oxfam America’s head of global policy. “This announcement means that the United States can finally begin rebuilding a life-saving refugee resettlement program and welcome the tens of thousands who have been left stranded by four years of Trump administration’s xenophobic policies and three months of inaction by the Trump administration. Biden. “