Biden increases refugee cap to 62,500 after backlash

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President Biden has increased the refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for the current fiscal year, after keeping the historically low Trump-era cap of 15,000. But Mr. Biden also admitted in a statement on Monday that the administration will not reach that cap this year. 

The Biden administration faced intense backlash from liberals, immigration advocacy groups and religious groups alike after announcing last month that they would keep the Trump-era level of 15,000 refugees for the time being, despite an earlier pledge to quadruple admissions of immigrants escaping war and violence. The White House said Monday that they would increase the cap this month. 

“Today, I am revising the United States' annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year,” the president said in a statement. “This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America's values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees. The new admissions cap will also reinforce efforts that are already underway to expand the United States' capacity to admit refugees, so that we can reach the goal of 125,000 refugee admissions that I intend to set for the coming fiscal year.”

But Mr. Biden also said in his statement that the U.S. will not reach 62,500 admissions and a cap is just that — a ceiling. 

“The sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year,” the president said in his statement. “We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway. We have reopened the program to new refugees. And by changing the regional allocations last month, we have already increased the number of refugees ready for departure to the United States.”

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