Biden to Keep Refugee Cap at 15,000, Lift Regional Restrictions

Headline Roundup April 16th, 2021

President Joe Biden is expected to issue an order Friday keeping the current record-low 15,000 refugee admissions cap and eliminating Trump-era restrictions on which refugees qualify for resettlement, which some officials said would speed the resettlement process. Biden previously announced plans to raise refugee admissions to 125,000 in fiscal year 2022, with the State Department planning to accept 62,500 in 2021. Despite those plans, the Biden administration has been on track to accept the lowest number of refugees since 1980. A group of House Democrats led by Rep. Ilhan Omar sent a letter Friday morning urging Biden to raise the refugee cap, after reports surfaced of refugees having their applications canceled “at the last minute, in some cases having already left their residences and sold their belongings.” The United Nations estimates there are about 80 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, 26.3 million of whom are classified as refugees.

Coverage was blunter in portraying the decision as a “reversal” in some left- and right-rated outlets than in center-rated outlets.

Biden to Keep Refugee Cap at 15,000, Lift Regional Restrictions

From the Left
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President Joe Biden on Friday signed an emergency determination that officials said would speed refugee admissions to the U.S., but he did not immediately lift his predecessor’s historically low cap of 15,000 refugees for this year.

Biden, instead, is adjusting the allocation limits set by former President Donald Trump, which officials said have been the driving factor in limiting refugee admissions. The new allocations provide more slots for refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Central America and lift Trump’s restrictions on resettlements from Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

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From the Center
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President Biden will sign an order Friday to keep the number of refugee admissions this year at the historically low figure set by the Trump administration, walking back a campaign promise to raise the cap, a senior administration official confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Biden has faced mounting pressure to increase the limit as he pledged, with his administration set to accept the lowest number of refugees this year of any modern president, including former President Trump.

Instead of raising the cap, Biden is instead adjusting allocation limits to...

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From the Right
303

President Biden is keeping refugee admissions at 15,000 this fiscal year -- the level set at the end of the Trump administration -- despite earlier proposals to dramatically increase it to over 60,000.

A senior administration official said Friday that Biden will be signing an emergency presidential determination to keep the number at 15,000 while changing the regional allocation of who is brought in -- allowing more slots from Africa, the Middle East and Central America, while ending restrictions on Somalia, Yemen and Syria.

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