Joe Biden to lift Donald Trump’s cap on refugees amid criticism

Carrie Guzman
April 19, 2021

But Biden, she said, was urged by advisers to "take immediate action to reverse the Trump policy that banned refugees from many key regions, to enable flights from those regions to begin within days; today's order did that". And at a time when we're facing the world's worst refugee crisis, the USA resettles less than half of 1 percent of the world's refugees, which means that this very narrow lifeline of protection needs to be not only preserved, but expanded to really help those individuals who can not go home or locally integrate.

And once you meet that definition, you're referred to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

In an emergency determination signed by Biden earlier Friday, he stated the admission of up to 15,000 refugees set by former President Donald Trump this year "remains justified by humanitarian concerns and is otherwise in the national interest".

The State Department, which coordinates flights with resettlement agencies, booked 715 refugees to come to the United States with the anticipation that Biden would have acted by March, but those flights were canceled since the refugees were not eligible under Trump's rules, according to resettlement agencies. Children coming to our border seeking refuge from violence, economic hardships and other dire circumstances is not a crisis, ' a White House official told the cable network.

Following the criticism, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden's original announcement had been "the subject of some confusion" and said the president was expected to increase the refugee cap by May 15. The White House also blamed Trump for decimating the resettlement program in the USA, while the senior administration official cited the COVID-19 pandemic without elaborating.

Joe Biden is hardly the sharpest tool in the shed. Problem was the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up at the border with young people. "Let's be clear. We are changing the policies of the last administration".

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The move triggered a backlash from Democratic lawmakers and resettlement agencies.

"Failing to issue a new determination undermines your declared objective to reverse your predecessor's refugee policies and to rebuild the Refugee Admissions Program to a target of 125,000 people in FY22, and threatens US leadership on forced migration", he wrote. But I have no doubt that he's been aware of the fact that the situation at the border is a crisis, and that he's known this for some time.

© Pool via Reuters Unaccompanied immigrant children walk surrounded by staff members through the Carrizo Springs Influx Care Facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, March 24, 2021. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said that Biden slow walking a decision "has had serious repercussions" - potentially leading to even fewer than 15,000 refugees being admitted this fiscal year. Trump had blocked many Muslim and African refugees by prioritizing smaller groups of refugees, like Iraqi Christians. However, she did not say what the new limit would be.

Psaki said on Friday Biden's "initial goal of 62,500 seems unlikely.given the decimated refugee admissions program we inherited".

Biden had initially allocated 7,000 for refugees from Africa, 1,000 from East Asia, 1,500 from Europe and Central Asia, 3,000 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 1,500 from the Middle East and South Asia.

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