Democratic lawmakers and humanitarian teams expressed disappointment and frustration with President Joe Biden after his administration introduced on Friday that it’ll preserve the low cap on refugee admissions set by former President Donald Trump.
Biden pledged two months in the past to extend the variety of refugees admitted into the U.S. to 62,500 this fiscal yr and 125,000 for the subsequent, however he by no means formally signed the presidential dedication wanted to make it official.
On Friday, after pleas from refugees, humanitarian teams and Democratic lawmakers, the White House mentioned it could present extra slots for refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Central America, however would preserve the cap of 15,000 for the remainder of the fiscal yr.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) mentioned that together with his resolution on Friday, Biden has “broken his promise to restore our humanity.”
“I appreciate that President Biden eliminated geographic allocations but this is not sufficient. Each day that passes without signing the Emergency Presidential Determination is another day of signing off on Trump’s cruel policies,” Jayapal advised HuffPost.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) referred to as the choice “unacceptable.”
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote in a letter addressed to Biden on Friday that the president’s failure to set a brand new refugee cap “undermines your declared purpose to reverse your predecessor’s refugee policies … and threatens U.S. leadership on forced migration.”
“By failing to issue a revised Determination, the White House has not only stymied the number of refugees permitted entrance into the United States, but also it has prevented the Department of State from admitting vetted refugees currently waiting in the system who do not fit into the unprecedentedly narrow refugee categories designated by the Trump administration,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a letter addressed to Biden on Friday.
Faith-based organizations devoted to resettling refugees additionally criticized the Biden administration over the announcement.
“There is no moral reason to keep the historic-low refugee admissions goal of 15,000 in place for the rest of this year, nor was there any morality in the significant delay in restoring regional allocations,” Meredith Owen, director of coverage for Church World Service, mentioned in a press release. “The harm caused by the delay cannot be overstated—thousands of refugees who were ready for travel to the United States last month have seen their medical and security checks start to expire. This means that they will have to wait months—if not years—to actually be resettled in the United States and reunited with loved ones.”
David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, referred to as Biden’s resolution “deeply disappointing.”
“The cap announced today does not take proper account of the fact that over 35,000 refugees have already been vetted and cleared for arrival, and over 100,000 are in the pipeline often waiting years to be reunited with their loved ones,” Miliband added.
Jen Bendery contributed to this story.
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