Biden could now raise refugee cap to 62,500 THIS year after several flipflops amid Democrat accusations that he was sticking with Trump’s ‘xenophobic policies’
- President Joe Biden’s administration may again set the refugee cap at 62,500 for 2021, after 11 days of mixed messaging on the subject
- The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the White House was again considering setting the refugee cap to the higher number
- The administration had first committed to 62,500 in February before announcing on April 16 that it would leave the 15,000 cap in place
- After several hours of pushback from refugee groups and liberal activists, the White House said a new cap would be announced on May 15
- The Post charted that the White House changed its story on what happened six times in three weeks
- Biden said on April 17 that he was concerned about resources because of the uptick in migrants coming to the southern border
- On April 1, White House press secretary Jen Psaki had denied the two issues were related
President Joe Biden’s administration may finally set the refugee cap at 62,500 for 2021, after 11 days of mixed messaging on the subject.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the White House was again considering setting the refugee cap to the higher number, which the administration had first committed to in February, before announcing on April 16 that it would leave the cap at 15,000.
The move infuriated refugee groups and political allies on the left.
Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, said it was an example of Biden ‘upholding the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump admin.’
A Post story from Friday tracked the White House changing its story about what happened six times in three weeks.
President Joe Biden’s administration may set the refugee cap at 62,500 for the remainder of fiscal year 2021, after 11 days of mixed messaging on the subject
President Joe Biden’s White House has had to play clean-up after an April 16 announcement that said the refugee cap would remain at the Trump-era low of 15,000
White House press secretary Jen Psaki had said on April 1 that moving the refugee cap wasn’t tied to the surge of migrants at the southern border.
However, on April 17, the president said that it did.
‘The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people,’ Biden said. ‘We couldn’t do two things at once. But now we are going to increase the number.’
The Post had also reported that ‘Biden harbored concerns about what the sharp increase in migrants at the southern border meant for the government’s capacity to handle an influx of refugees from elsewhere.’
The Office of Refugee Resettlement is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is also tasked with providing housing for unaccompanied minors who have crossed the southern border.
On Wednesday, Psaki spoke of the ‘challenges to our resources’ when initially asked why Biden overruled Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other national security experts by keeping the cap at the lower number for the April 16 announcement.
‘I’m obviously not going to get into private conversations between the president and members of his national security team,’ Psaki first said.
She then noted that funding has been transferred from other areas of HHS to address the crunch of children coming into the country over the border.
She also pointed out that there had been a Trump-era hiring freeze at the ORR.
Biden’s larger aim was to move the cap to 125,000 a fiscal year.
In February, he had suggested half of that could be met in the remaining months of 2021, with the 2022 fiscal year beginning in October.
But on closer inspection, the administration believed that wouldn’t be doable, which led to the April 16 announcement of keeping the Trump-era cap.
But the Post reported Tuesday that sources inside the administration ‘suddenly sound hopeful’ that the 62,500 number can be close to being met.
The White House said it would put out a new number in advance of May 15.
That date was set on April 16, after refugee resettlement groups and liberal allies pushed back in protest over the announcement that the cap wouldn’t yet budge.
The Post reported that a final decision hasn’t been made.