After facing severe backlash from refugee agencies and progressives, the Biden administration has reversed an order that would have kept the number of refugees admitted annually to the United States the same as under Trump.
The change raises the refugee cap to 62,500 from 15,000. President Biden explained his quick flip-flop — it happened within hours of the initial order — saying the lower figure “did not reflect America’s values.”
Biden added that he will boost the number of refugees to 125,000 for the 2022 fiscal year, which begins in October.
Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reacted to the 62,500 number by tweeting: “Upholding the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump admin, incl the historically low + plummeted refugee cap, is flat out wrong. Keep your promise.”
“Completely and utterly unacceptable,” tweeted Ocasio-Cortez after the announcement. “Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and people voted for him based on that promise.”
Other Democrats criticized the change. Democrat Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the majority whip, called the admission number “unacceptable.”
“Facing the greatest refugee crisis of our time, there is no reason to limit the number to 15,000. Say it ain’t so, Joe,” Durbin said.
Border surge unabated
Refugees, including many unaccompanied teenagers and children, continue to surge across the U.S.-Mexico border. The Department of Health and Human Services is struggling with the increase.
Republican Senator from Tennessee Bill Hagerty recently visited Guatemala and Mexico, where he met with officials from both countries.
“I went because this is the most urgent national security and economic problem we face as a nation, and we need to convey that sense of urgency to the leadership of Mexico and Guatemala,” Hagerty said.
He charged the Biden administration with not treating the border crisis as a crisis.
Vice President Kamala Harris was given the position of “border czar” two months into the Biden administration. Harris is facing increasing backlash for not visiting the border since being appointed.
The number of migrants streaming across the southern border continues to increase dramatically.
According to border authorities, there were more than 172,000 migrant border encounters in March alone. The migrant children traveling alone swamped already-overwhelmed facilities, with increasing numbers expected.
President Biden stated that the position of his administration is to show that “America’s commitment to protect the most valuable, and to stand as a beacon of liberty and refuge to the world.”