Facebook Twitter

White House announces fourfold raise in refugee admittance

President Joe Biden raised the refugee cap this fiscal year to 62,500 people, up from the Trump administration cap of 15,000

SHARE White House announces fourfold raise in refugee admittance

The Statue of Liberty is seen in New York harbor on June 2, 2009. White House on Monday, May 3, 2021, said it is raising America’s refugee cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year, more than four times the 15,000 person limit set by the Trump administration.

Richard Drew, Associated Press

Lady Liberty will lift her lamp to tens of thousands more huddled masses this year after the White House said it is raising America’s refugee cap by fourfold.

President Joe Biden announced Monday that the refugee cap would be 62,500 for this fiscal year, more than four times the 15,000 person limit set by the Trump administration.

  • “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,” Biden said in a statement.
  • “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. It will take some time, but that work is already underway,” the president added.

According to a White House memorandum directed to the secretary of state, that also published Monday, the refugee allocations for fiscal year 2021 will be broken down like this:

  • Africa: 22,000.
  • Near East and South Asia: 13,000.
  • East Asia: 6,000.
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: 5,000.
  • Europe and Central Asia: 4,000.
  • Unallocated reserve: 12,500.

The federal fiscal calendar ends Sept. 30.

Politicians and refugee leaders respond

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Twitter shortly after the announcement that Biden had taken “the next step to address the needs of those fleeing violence and persecution.”

  • “Our refugee program provides safe, legal, orderly and humane ways to enter the United States to those seeking refuge in line with our core American values and interests as a nation,” Blinken said.

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president of resettlement nonprofit the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, said Monday that “President Biden has reaffirmed what so many Americans have long known — refugees are welcome here and are a blessing to our communities,” Politico reported.

  • “The new admissions ceiling reflects our core values as a welcoming nation, and finally aligns public policy with the unprecedented global need of millions forced from their home by violence, war and persecution,” Vignarajah said, according to Politico.
  • The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, or LIRS, “is the largest faith-based nonprofit dedicated to serving vulnerable immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees in the U.S.”

Florida Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy said on Twitter that she “was rescued by the U.S. Navy and given refuge in America, so I know America is a powerful and compassionate country.”

  • “I’m glad more refugees fleeing violence and persecution will have the chance to find safe haven, raise families, and contribute to their new home,” Murphy said.

Republicans House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, attacked the administration’s handling of the southern border immigration crisis on Monday.

  • “103 days since Biden issued orders that created the border crisis. He hasn’t reversed them. 40 days since he tapped Harris to solve the crisis. She hasn’t visited the border,” Scalise said on Twitter.