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Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Several Democrats on Friday slammed President Biden's decision to not raise the cap on refugees allowed to enter the U.S. this year, calling it "disgraceful" and "utterly unacceptable."

Why it matters: Biden campaigned on the promise to increase the limit, which was set to a historically low figure under the Trump administration.

What they're saying:

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.): "[T]oday's disgraceful decision ... goes directly against our values and risks the lives of little boys and girls huddled in refugee camps around the world. I know, because I was one."
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.): "It is simply unacceptable and unconscionable that the Biden Administration is not immediately repealing Donald Trump's harmful, xenophobic, and racist refugees cap that cruelly restricts admissions to a historically low level ... President Biden has broken his promise to restore our humanity."
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.): "Completely and utterly unacceptable. Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and people voted for him based on that promise ... Keep your promise."
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas): "Raising the refugee resettlement cap is vital for American global leadership and to restore the soul of our nation. I urge the President to keep his promise."
  • Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.): "The United States has a proud, bipartisan tradition of providing refugees protection through resettlement. In this time of great global need, the United States must demonstrate its robust commitment as a nation by resettling the world's most vulnerable refugees."

Worth noting: In a letter to Biden ahead of news of the order on Friday, 38 Democratic members of Congress said the United States' refugee policy "remains unacceptably draconian and discriminatory" with the current cap.

Go deeper

23 mins ago - Health

Study: Over 99% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were not vaccinated

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday released a study showing that 99.75% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and April 13 were not fully vaccinated, according to data provided to Axios.

Why it matters: Real-world evidence continues to show coronavirus vaccines are effective at keeping people from dying and out of hospitals. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been found to be 95% and 94% effective, respectively, at preventing symptomatic infections.

2 hours ago - Health

Biden reaches agreements with Uber and Lyft to give free rides to vaccine sites

A coronavirus vaccination site in Miami on May 10. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Biden administration has reached agreements with ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft to offer free rides to coronavirus vaccination sites through July 4, the White House announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The free rides, starting in the next two weeks, are part of the Biden administration's push to administer at least one vaccine dose to 70% of U.S. adults by Independence Day.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Biden officials green-light nation's first big offshore wind project

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration today gave final approval to Vineyard Wind, a project off the Massachusetts coast slated to be the country's first large-scale offshore wind farm.

Why it matters: While the green light for the long-proposed project was expected, it marks a key step in White House plans to help spur development of a suite of coastal projects off New York, New Jersey and other states.

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