Biden retains U.S. refugee cap at Trump-era 15,000

© Reuters. U.S. President Biden delivers remarks on Russia on the White Home in Washington By Steve Holland and Mica Rosenberg WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden signed an order on Friday limiting U.S. refugee admissions this yr to the traditionally low 15,000 cap set below his predecessor Donald Trump, shelving a plan to boost it



© Reuters. U.S. President Biden delivers remarks on Russia on the White Home in Washington

By Steve Holland and Mica Rosenberg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden signed an order on Friday limiting U.S. refugee admissions this yr to the traditionally low 15,000 cap set below his predecessor Donald Trump, shelving a plan to boost it to 62,500 and drawing the ire of refugee advocates and a few Democratic lawmakers.

However as criticism mounted, the White Home issued a press release saying Biden would set a “remaining, elevated refugee cap” for the rest of this fiscal yr by Might 15.

Biden’s order to restrict admissions to fifteen,000 was a blow to advocacy teams that needed the Democratic president to maneuver swiftly to reverse the refugee insurance policies of the Republican Trump, who had set the determine as a method to restrict immigration.

This system for admitting refugees is distinct from the asylum system for migrants. Refugees have to be vetted whereas nonetheless abroad and cleared for entry to the U.S., in contrast to migrants who arrive at a U.S. border after which request asylum.

Biden, who took workplace in January, had signaled two months in the past plans to boost the cap through the 2021 fiscal yr ending on Sept. 30, however held off on really doing so.

The president’s cautious strategy seems to have been tied to considerations over the optics of admitting extra refugees at a time of rising numbers of migrants arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border in latest months, and to not desirous to look “too open” or “comfortable,” one other U.S. official with information of the matter instructed Reuters.

Criticism was swift. “Going through the best refugee disaster in our time there isn’t a motive to restrict the quantity to fifteen,000. Say it ain’t so, President Joe,” mentioned U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, the second highest rating Democrat within the Senate. Advocates say the 2 teams of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, are distinct and that resettlement was lengthy uncared for below Trump.

Hours later because the complaints flowed in, White Home spokeswoman Jen Psaki mentioned in a press release the unique announcement had been “the topic of some confusion” and {that a} remaining refugee cap for the yr could be set by Might 15.

Psaki mentioned, Biden’s “preliminary objective of 62,500 appears unlikely” between now and the tip of the fiscal yr on Oct. 1, “given the decimated refugee admissions program we inherited.”

Republicans have blamed Biden for the state of affairs on the border, faulting his strikes to reverse different Trump-era hardline immigration insurance policies.

Biden pledged in February to extend the variety of refugees admitted within the subsequent fiscal yr to 125,000.

Underneath the presidential willpower signed by Biden, the US will provide refugee standing to a wider a part of the world than had been allowed by Trump by altering the allocation of refugee slots, the senior administration official mentioned.

Underneath Biden’s new plan, the 15,000 slots could be allotted this manner: 7,000 for Africa, 1,000 for East Asia, 1,500 for Europe and Central Asia, 3,000 from Latin America and the Caribbean, 1,500 from the Close to East and South Asia, and 1,000 for an unallocated reserve.

‘UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE’

Democratic Consultant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter that the cap was “utterly and totally unacceptable.”

“Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and folks voted for him primarily based on that promise,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

Democratic U.S. Consultant Pramila Jayapal referred to as Biden’s determination to not elevate Trump’s “dangerous, xenophobic and racist refugee cap” unconscionable.

Stephen Miller, an immigration hardliner and White Home adviser below Trump, mentioned on Twitter that Biden was doubtless involved that border points might result in losses for Democrats within the 2022 midterm elections. Miller mentioned he would favor “zero” refugee admissions.

Refugee advocates referred to as the choice unjustified on condition that there are round 35,000 refugees who’ve already been vetted for safety and cleared for entry to the US, with a complete of about 100,000 at varied levels within the pipeline.

Refugee teams beforehand expressed frustration that Biden had delayed issuing the cap for months, which left refugees who have been scheduled to journey stranded. Mark Hetfield, president of the HIAS resettlement company, mentioned round 700 flights have been canceled as a result of holdup.

“One can not help however guess that they’re conflating the refugee subject with what is going on on the border with the refugee program, which is an actual disservice,” Hetfield instructed Reuters.

An growing variety of households and unaccompanied minors from Central America, many in search of asylum, have been among the many these detained on the border in latest months. The refugee program presents a pathway for individuals to use overseas to resettle in the US. Advocates have been dismayed by the small variety of slots for Central People within the introduced cap.

Refugee admissions reached historic lows below Trump, who portrayed refugees as a safety risk and made limiting the variety of immigrants allowed into the US a trademark of his presidency.

The Worldwide Rescue Committee refugee advocacy group referred to as Biden’s motion “a disturbing and unjustified retreat.”

If resettlement continues on the present tempo, the group mentioned, Biden “is on monitor to resettle the bottom variety of refugees of any president in U.S. historical past.”





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