Washington-President Biden plans to increase the number of refugees who can enter the United States to 125,000 in the fiscal year beginning October 1, the State Department announced on Monday.
Biden’s decision is unlikely to affect the two groups in recent news. Tens of thousands from Kabul have fled the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, and more than 15,000 Haitians are in a vast temporary camp under a bridge on the southern border. People in these groups are not officially classified as refugees.
But the move shows the president’s intention to open the door to the country four years after the Trump administration tried to prevent refugees from settling here.
In May, Biden raised the refugee status limit this year from 15,000 (a historically low level set by former President Donald J. Trump) to 62,500. At that time, Mr Biden also vowed to fulfill his promise to raise the cap to 125,000 during the first year of his inauguration.
State Department spokesman Ned Price sent a report to Congress in a statement Monday detailing Mr. Biden’s intention to do just that to “address the needs created by humanitarian crises around the world.” Said that.
“A strong refugee status program is important to the interests of US foreign policy and national security objectives and reflects US core values,” Price said in a statement. By law, the president must “consult” with Congress before deciding how many refugees to allow each year.
As a candidate, Biden criticized Trump for limiting refugees’ entry to 15,000, making it a non-American and long-standing duty of the country as a refuge for people around the world. He said he couldn’t do it.
He promised to accept many refugees fleeing violence and disasters. However, Biden initially refused to raise Trump’s 15,000 cap immediately after taking office, causing fierce criticism from supporters who claimed to support his predecessor’s hard-line stance on refugees.
In response to the fierce backlash, the president raised the refugee limit this year from 15,000 to 62,500 and renewed his promise of a limit of 125,000 for the next fiscal year starting next month.
Refugee defenders supported the move on Monday. But they said the Biden administration would not be able to actually resettle so many refugees during the coming year without hiring more employees at government agencies that work to handle them. Stated.
During Mr. Trump’s presidency, government agencies and nonprofits governing resettlement of refugees have shrunk dramatically due to the low caps imposed by the former president on the program. As a result, under Mr. Biden, only about 7,500 official refugees have resettled in the United States, even if the upper limit allows 62,500.
“Unsurprisingly, coupled with a pandemic challenge, the Trump administration’s four-year attack on refugee programs has hampered the federal government’s efforts to rebuild,” said Lutheran migrants, who work with the government to resettle refugees. Refugee Services President Krish Vinalaja said. “But raising the cap without spending critical resources, people, and policies to streamline the process is primarily symbolic.”
Tens of thousands of Afghans who flew out of Kabul last month have already arrived in the United States, many of whom may resettle in communities across the country.
However, most people are given the ability to temporarily live and work in the United States under a humanitarian program that does not consider them official refugees. Eventually, some may apply for asylum to live permanently in the United States. The Biden administration is calling on Congress to pass special legislation to guide them all on a special path to citizenship.
Many Haitians who have crossed the Rio Grande River in Texas in the past few days are also not officially considered refugees. The government said they had already begun to quickly treat them as illegal border crossers and send them back to Haiti.