May 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to raise refugee cap to 62,500

Photo of Joe and Jill Biden holding hands while walking down a staircase from the airplane

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will raise the cap on refugees to 62,500 this fiscal year, he announced on Monday.

Why it matters: The move comes after a wave of outrage over his initial decision to keep the Trump-era ceiling of 15,000 admissions in place.

What he's saying: "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."

  • The new admissions cap will "expand the United States’ capacity to admit refugees, so that we can reach the goal of 125,000 refugee admissions that I intend to set for the coming fiscal year."
  • "The sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year," he added. "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 big picture: Biden walked back his initial decision to keep the historically low 15,000 cap after it was widely panned by Democrats.

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