Tuesday, May 4th, 2021
Turn away from Trump’s tough course
Biden increases the maximum number of refugees
One of the Trump administration’s goals has been to drastically reduce the number of refugees being admitted into the country. In his last year in office, the United States only accepted 15,000 people – fewer than ever before. Joe Biden is now heralding the U-turn.
US President Joe Biden has raised the maximum number of refugees this year to 62,500. This will reverse the “historically low” ceiling of 15,000 refugees decided by the government of his predecessor Donald Trump, the White House said. This “did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees.”
Biden had put the plans for a significantly increased refugee intake in the current budget year on hold in mid-April – and thus drew sharp criticism from within his own ranks. In the face of the protests, the White House rowed back and said the upper limit for the admission of refugees admitted as part of a UN resettlement program would be set at a later date.
Now Biden is returning to the limit of 62,500 refugees he originally targeted for this year. According to the White House, the aim is to take in 125,000 refugees in the next fiscal year. Nonetheless, Biden said: “The sad truth is that we won’t be able to take 62,500 recordings this year.” The Trump administration is responsible for this: “We are working quickly to repair the damage of the past four years.”
Trump had continuously reduced the number of refugees allowed into the country in the course of resettlement by the United Nations, in his last year in office to the record low of 15,000. Under his predecessor Barack Obama, more than 100,000 refugees were admitted each year.
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Democrat Bob Menendez, expressed his satisfaction with the announcement: It was an “important step” in continuing the “proud” US tradition of accepting refugees. The civil rights organization ACLU also welcomed Biden’s decision: It would “not be easy” to rebuild the admission program that was damaged under Trump. But Biden must keep his “promise”. The president had announced a departure from Trump’s tough course in refugee and immigration policy. The left wing of the ruling Democrats is particularly keen on this.