Biden Keeps Trump’s Refugee Cap in Place Amid Migrant Surge

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden Keeps Trump’s Refugee Cap in Place Amid Migrant Surge” – below is their description.

    President Joe Biden will keep the historically low refugee cap set by former President Donald Trump amid a surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, but directed the federal government to accelerate processing of refugees.

    Biden’s order reallocates refugee slots to make them more readily available to people living in Africa and the Middle East, according to a senior administration official. Limits on those areas set by Trump slowed refugee admissions, the official said.

    The Friday announcement came amid pressure from human-rights groups and some Democrats, who called on Biden to fulfill a pledge to raise the cap to 62,500 for the second half of the fiscal year. But the official said the U.S. could not immediately reach that target due to the lack of infrastructure left behind by Trump to process refugees and the coronavirus pandemic.

    Just 2,050 refugees have been admitted to the U.S. since the fiscal year began on Oct. 1, the lowest level on record in the modern era, according to an analysis from the International Rescue Committee. Trump set the cap during his final year in office at 15,000, the lowest number since Congress passed the Refugee Act in 1980, as he sought to curb legal and illegal immigration.

    The U.S. intends to use all 15,000 slots for this year and the administration will consult with Congress about increasing the cap if needed, the official said.

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