In Reversal, Biden Agrees To Increase Trump-Era Refugee Caps
President Joe Biden told reporters Saturday that he will raise Trump-era immigration caps restricting the number of refugees who could enter the United States.
Biden signed an order Friday maintaining the Trump-era 15,000-refugee cap on immigration into the United States, saying at the time the cap “remains justified by humanitarian concerns and is otherwise in the national interest.” Biden saw a swift backlash from Democrats and advocacy groups after the announcement with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) calling the choice “unacceptable” in a statement Friday.
Biden changed his his position within a few hours. “We are going to increase the number,” the president said. “Problem was the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up at the border with young people. We couldn’t do two things at once, so now we are going to raise the number.” Biden had previously discussed raising the cap to 62,500 refugees annually.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday that Biden plans to “set a final, increased refugee cap for the remainder of this fiscal year by May 15.” Psaki later, however, said Biden’s “initial goal of 62,500 seems unlikely … given the decimated refugee admissions program we inherited.”