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Biden administration increases refugee cap, following backlash 

"We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway," Biden said.

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Biden President Joe Biden speaks about Russia in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
By: Teddy Grant

The Biden administration increased the refugee admission cap to 62,500 for the current fiscal year on Monday, after facing blowback that it would keep the historical low set by the Trump administration.   

“Today, I am revising the United States’ annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year,” President Joe Biden said in a statement to CBS News. “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. 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.”  

In February, the administration released a proposal to increase the number of refugees to 62,500 but reversed its position in March, much to the ire of immigration advocacy groups and liberal organizations.    

Biden said that despite the increase, the administration will not reach its goal this year and that it “will still be hard to hit” its goal of 125,000 refugee admissions in the fiscal year, according to CNN.   

“We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway.”  

In a statement to CNN, David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said, “When America welcomes refugees, it is the best of America, leaning on its distinguished tradition and long-held values of providing refuge to those fleeing violence and political persecution.”