As the refugee issue revealed the first major divide within his party, the US president resolved to increase the number of admissions to the country to 62,500 for the current year.
After throwing thousands of asylum seekers onto the roads by his promises of massive welcome and then backpedaling that won him enmity from his party’s left wing, Joe Biden finally increased the reception of refugees admitted to the country in 2021. US President Joe Biden decided on May 3 to increase the number of refugees potentially admitted to the United States for the current year to 62,500.
“We are working hard to repair the damage of the past four years,” he explained.
This decision, eagerly awaited in the Democratic camp, allows him a little more than 100 days after coming to power to mark his claimed break with Donald Trump, who had set a historically low ceiling of 15,000 people. Under pressure in the face of an unmanageable flow of asylum seekers, the new president had in mid-April maintained this figure, causing an outcry on the left.
The deputy Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, muse of the left wing of the party, had denounced on April 16 on Twitter a choice “absolutely unacceptable”.
“Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and people voted for him based on that promise. Retain the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump administration […] is a complete mistake, ”she lambasted.
Completely and utterly unacceptable. Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and people voted for him based on that promise.
Upholding the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump admin, incl the historically low + plummeted refugee cap, is flat out wrong.
Keep your promise. https://t.co/A82xYf1XpR
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 16, 2021
The Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Bob Menendez, denounced a “terribly low” number. He praised the new announcement, seeing it as “an important step” to protect America’s “tradition” of protecting refugees.
For next year, the tenant of the White House has set a threshold of 125,000 refugees. Still, he said it was unlikely that the United States would be able to host a total of 62,500 refugees by September 30 – the end of the current fiscal year – or reach the end of the current fiscal year. target of 125,000 admissions next year.
A drastic selection of cases
This program only concerns refugees selected by US security and intelligence agencies in UN camps around the world to be resettled in the United States, mainly among the most vulnerable.
Evoking, at the beginning of February, the “80 million displaced persons who suffer in the world”, Joe Biden had announced, as he had undertaken in the campaign, his intention to multiply by eight the number of refugees who could be admitted to the United States. United.
But the situation at the country’s borders has been faced with massive pressure from applicants for immigration and asylum, which has forced the US authorities to change their tone in the face of the situation.
“I can say clearly: do not come,” Joe Biden said in March to applicants for immigration. The argument advanced since this crisis by the Biden administration to justify its management of flows below the expected level is the state in which the American migration system was left by its predecessor.
Under the mandate of Barack Obama, 100,000 people were welcomed each year on average.