Biden to relax refugee limit but won't say how much

Ruben Hill
April 19, 2021

Before the reversal was announced, Christian refugee resettlement group World Relief said in a statement, "While Biden's revised PD does make important and long-awaited changes to regional admissions categories, the decision to keep the refugee cap at an all-time low represents a stunning betrayal of the president's previous commitment".

The revised PD means that the US would admit only 4,100 refugees this fiscal year, which is already at the halfway point, the Evangelical Immigration Table noted in a statement, adding that Biden's refugee numbers "would be the lowest level in the USA refugee resettlement program's history".

Since the fiscal year began last October 1, just over 2,000 refugees have been resettled in the U.S.

The US president yesterday moved to accelerate refugee admissions but said the admission of up to 15,000 refugees set by Trump this year "remains justified by humanitarian concerns and is otherwise in the national interest".

Over the weekend, Biden was asked by a reporter in DE about his policy on refugee admissions. "Say it ain't so, President Joe", Durbin said in a statement.

Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, an worldwide Jewish humanitarian organization that provides services to refugees and asylum-seekers in 16 countries, said in a statement that Biden had broken his "repeated promises to significantly raise this year's refugee admissions cap".

US President Joe Biden hosting his first official press conference in office at the White House in DC, USA on March 25, 2021.

Psaki spent a chunk of Monday's briefing cleaning up the administration's Friday rollout of the refugree policy, calling the original 62,500 refugees an 'aspirational increase'. Trump limited most spots to people fleeing religious persecution, Iraqis who have assisted USA forces there, and people from Central America's Northern Triangle. 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.

Migrants are detained by a U.S. Border Patrol agent after crossing the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to request for
Biden Administration, in Response to Criticism, Says It Will Lift Refugee Cap Next Month

It is unclear what this number will be, but Biden officials have shared concerns that they can not meet the aggressive demands set by Democrats.

It also came after Omar, Jayapal, Ocasio-Cortez and 43 other Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to Biden earlier Friday calling on him to immediately raise the cap to 62,500.

"The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people", Biden told reporters in Wilmington.

'There was an increase of unaccompanied children at the border, ' Psaki pointed out. 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.

One thing that is changing, though, is how the 15,000 slots for this year will be split up among different regions, according to the senior administration official.

"Rhetoric is no refuge for the persecuted - we need action", said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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