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Biden announces the US is raising limit on annual refugee admissions from 15,000 to 62,500

The Biden administration is raising the USA’s annual refugee admissions cap from 15,000 to 62,500. 

A statement released by the White House suggests that the limit “did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees.” Continuing, “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.” The administration hopes to “remove any lingering doubt” that potential refugees may have about entering the states. Initially, the administration announced it would maintain former President Trump’s 15,000 refugee admission cap.

However, following pressure from Democrats, the administration decided to raise the lid. In a letter composed by over 30 House Democrats, including Representative Ilhan Omar, politicians urged Biden to uphold his campaign promise of admitting more refugees. According to CNN, the letter reads, “There is immense and growing urgency on this issue, for the many who have already been approved for resettlement, and for the unimaginable number of people who continue to hold out hope that they can one day rebuild their lives destroyed by climate, conflict, and repression.”

According to the Refugee Processing Center, 2,000 refugees were processed since the end of March, halfway through the 2021 fiscal year. The administration acknowledged the unrealistic nature of the goal, blaming the Trump administration for their setback. “The sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year. We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years.” 

The international humanitarian NGO, Oxfam, released a statement regarding the Biden administration’s new goal, stating, “This announcement means the United States can finally begin to rebuild the life-saving refugee resettlement program and welcome the tens of thousands of people who have been left stranded by four years of the Trump administration’s xenophobic policies and three months of the Biden administration’s inaction.”

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ARTICLE: ANTOINTETTE AHO

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: FOX CAROLINA

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