US President Joe Biden speaks on the American Jobs Plan, following a tour of Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Virginia on May 3, 2021.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden will raise the annual U.S. refugee cap to 62,500 entrants for the fiscal year, revising the much lower number set under the Trump administration that “did not reflect America’s values,” Biden said Monday.
“It is important to take this action today to remove any lingering doubt in the minds of refugees around the world who have suffered so much, and who are anxiously waiting for their new lives to begin,” the president said in a statement.
Biden also said he plans to set a cap of 125,000 refugee admissions for the following fiscal year.
The Biden administration faced immense pressure from Democrats and activists to quickly raise the refugee cap from the historically low limit of 15,000 set under former President Donald Trump.
After signaling in mid-April he would keep the Trump-era cap in place, lawmakers in Biden’s own party publicly tore into the Democratic president.
“President Biden has broken his promise to restore our humanity,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said at the time.
Soon after the backlash, the White House said that there was “confusion” in its messaging and vowed to address the refugee cap by May 15.
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