Status: 04.05.2021 1:44 in the morning
US President Biden wants to raise the maximum acceptance of refugees to 62,500. He had previously withdrawn from the plans and was also criticized by party friends.
After criticism from fellow party members and aid organizations, US President Joe Biden has now dramatically raised the threshold for refugee admission. The limit set by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump to a maximum of 15,000 refugees per year will be more than quadrupled to 62,500, as the White House has now announced.
Biden said the “historically low” ceiling of the Trump administration does not reflect America’s values as a country that welcomes and supports refugees.
The number is the upper limit for refugees who can be admitted in the current fiscal year in the context of resettlement by the United Nations. For the next fiscal year, the Biden government aims for a maximum of 125,000 refugees. The US budget year runs from October 1 to September 30.
Biden had initially halted plans to dramatically increase the number of refugees in mid-April. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, has said that the US program to receive vulnerable refugees that the United Nations chooses to resettle will not have to be “rebuilt” until after the Trump years. Therefore, the ceiling of 15,000 refugees will remain in effect until further notice.
Biden: The slow process is Trump’s fault
The announcement caused discontent among Democrats and aid organizations in Biden. The chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Democrat Bob Menendez, spoke of a “shockingly low” figure. Then the White House backed down, saying the number was temporary.
Biden is now returning to the 62,500 refugee cap he had targeted before mid-April. However, on Monday, he said: “The sad truth is that we will not be able to record 62,500 records this year.” The Trump administration is responsible for this: “We are working quickly to repair the damage done in the past four years. It will take some time, but the work has already started.”
The left wing of the party calls for a reorientation of immigration policy
Senator Menendez welcomed the announcement: It was an “important step” in continuing the American tradition of “proud” of receiving refugees. The ACLU also welcomed Biden’s decision: It will not be easy to rebuild the admission program that was damaged in the Trump era. But Biden must keep his “promise.”
The president is beginning to turn away from Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration and refugee policies. The left wing of the ruling Democrats is particularly keen on this. Trump has consistently reduced the number of refugees allowed into the country in the context of their resettlement by the United Nations, in his final year in office, to a record low of 15,000. Under his predecessor Barack Obama, more than 100,000 refugees were accepted each year.
Immigration and refugee policy is a highly controversial issue in the United States. Biden has also distanced himself from Trump’s campaign against illegal immigration on the border with Mexico. This week, US authorities began reuniting immigrant families who were separated at the border during the Trump period.
President Biden raises the upper limit for refugees
Jule Käppel, ARD Washington, 4.5.2021 6:26 am