President Biden increased the limit of refugee admissions to 62,500 for this fiscal year on Monday following intense pressure from fellow Democrats.
Biden increased the refugee cap just weeks after he announced his intent to maintain a 15,000-refugee cap first imposed by former President Donald Trump. The initial limit drew outrage from prominent Democrats, who accused Biden of moving too slowly to reverse Trump-era refugee entry policies.
“This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees,” Biden said in a statement. “The new admissions cap will also reinforce efforts that are already underway to 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 Biden administration first proposed raising the refugee cap to 62,500 in February. However, the president appeared to reverse course in April, signing an emergency declaration to keep the Trump-era limit of 15,000 in place.