Instead, the Emergency Declaration reverted to regional allocations, in effect casting a wide net that could currently reach the US under the refugee roof. When 15,000 were found before the end of September, the administration left the door open to raise the roof. Only last week, White House press secretary Jane Saki said Biden was committed to raising the refugee cap to 62,500.
Claiming the president’s directive on refugee allocation “has been the subject of some confusion,” Saika said Friday afternoon that Biden “will set a final, increased refugee cap for the remaining May 15 of the fiscal year.”
“Given the refugee admissions program that we have inherited, and the burden in the refugee resettlement office, their initial goal of 62,500 seems impossible,” she said.
“It is deeply disappointing that President Biden has chosen to maintain the record-low refugee entry moment of 15,000 set by his predecessor. The correct elimination of discriminatory entry categories does not extend to the need for greater numbers of refugees. Acknowledged.” , ”Said David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee.
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most high-profile progressivists in Congress, criticized the move.
“Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and people voted for him based on that promise. Historically low + thin refugee hats were included, exposing the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump administration, which were inaccurate. Is. Keep your promise. ” Twitter.
Earlier on Friday, Psaki suggested that the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, had limited capacity given the increasing number of migrants in the range. “But I would say that is a factor. (The Office of Refugee Resettlement), which is a part of HHS, does refugee – manage, and there were personnel working on both issues and so we have to make sure. ” To manage both capacity and capacity, ”said Saki.
The process is different for migrants arriving at the border than for refugees arriving from abroad. Refugee resettlement agencies have repeatedly stated that they are ready for the arrival of refugees.
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, tweeted, “America needs to” rebuild “the resettlement program for refugees.
Sullivan tweeted, “America needs to rebuild our refugee resettlement program. We will use all 15,000 slots and work with Congress as part of the new determination.”
But Jenny Yang, senior vice president for advocacy and policy at World Relief, said rehabilitation agencies are preparing to increase arrivals. “It’s a completely wrong argument. It’s not based on any kind of reality,” she told CNN. “It’s not that they don’t have the capacity or the resources. It’s purely a political calculation at this point.”
The proposal was also in line with Biden’s commitment during the campaign to raise the refugee ceiling and return to the US to accept a greater number of refugees after the historic low arrivals under Trump. Biden announced that his administration would bring a cap for 125,000 refugees to office in its first full fiscal year during a foreign policy address to the head of the State Department in February.
“I am approving an executive order to begin the hard work of restoring our refugee admissions program to help meet an unprecedented global need,” Biden said. “This executive order will enable us to enable refugee admissions to 125,000 individuals for the first full fiscal year of the Biden-Harris administration. And I instruct the State Department to consult with Congress about the down payment I’ve been. On that commitment as soon as possible. “
But the proposal – and the accompanying paperwork – was halted as the situation heated up on the US-Mexico border.
The delay resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of refugee flights and thousands expected to reach the US after a year-long process. The emergency presidential nod has already cleared some refugees to travel, but has been barred under the Trump ban for arriving in the US.
The FY2021 allocation consists of 7,000 slots for Africa, 1,000 for East Asia, 1,500 for Europe and Central Asia, 3,000 for Latin America / Caribbean, 1,500 for Near East / South Asia, and 1,000 slots which are unlicensed. Huh.
Mark Hetfield, president and chief executive officer of the refugee resettlement organization HIAS, said, “It is disappointing, but now accepted and refugees can come here.”
This story has been updated with additional reporting and feedback.