Biden to set increased refugee cap next month
18.04.2021 | Alanah Lockwood | Vermont Law School, US APRIL 17, 2021 04:15:56 PM | 31
The White House said in a press statement on Friday that President Joe Biden signed a directive to set a new, increased refugee cap next month. The President came under criticism last week when he announced that the former President Trump’s cap would remain in effect. According to White House Secretary Jen Psaki, Biden continues consulting with advisors to determine whether the Office of Refugee Resettlement can reasonably relocate higher numbers of people between now and October 1, 2021.
Before signing the emergency directive, Biden had announced plans to keep the Trump administration’s refugee cap at 15,000 despite earlier promises to raise it to 62,500. “Given the decimated refugee admissions program we inherited and burdens on the Office of Refugee Resettlement, his initial goal of 62,500 seems unlikely,” Psaki noted in the White House press statement. Instead, the Biden administration plans to “cast a wider net” to allow a wider range of refugees to enter the US.
Refugee rights groups and lawmakers voiced their frustration with Biden’s sudden change of plans. World Relief senior vice president Jenny Yang told reporters, “[Biden has] basically broken his promise, and he’s abandoned his commitment.” “[T]hey could have done this two months ago to recategorize the allocations.”
Biden will set an official cap by May 15 of this year.