The lowest refugee limit
Thousands of people from all over the world must leave their countries of origin in order to protect their lives from risky situations such as persecution, war, abuse, famine and violence. Usually, first world countries, world powers and territories with a stable economic system open their doors for these vulnerable populations through humanitarian programs such as refuge and political asylum. That is the case in the US.
In fact, the number of refugee applications in the US is quite high. Therefore, the local government must establish a refugee limit for each Fiscal Year (October-September). This has been quite a controversial issue in recent years since former President Trump, who held this position from 2017 to 2021, substantially lowered the annual refugee cap, until, by fiscal year 2021, his administration set the lowest number of refugees in recent history, a total of 15,000 refugees.
So far this fiscal year, the US has received only a couple thousand refugees and has not come one bit closer to Trump’s cap.
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Biden vowed to increase refugee cap for Fiscal Year 2021
Despite former President Trump seeking re-election, the American population elected Democratic nominee Joe Biden as the country’s 46th president, who took office in late January 2021.
Since Biden launched his political campaign, he has emphasized the need to reform the entire immigration system, starting with removing the Trump administration’s restrictive policies.
Speaking specifically about the annual refugee limit, President Biden promised to increase the number set by Trump for fiscal year 2021 and increase the annual limit to 125,000 refugees, which would be the highest number in recent history.
Regarding fiscal year 2021, President Biden plans to increase the refugee cap to 62,500. However, as we are now in the middle of the fiscal year and Biden has not yet increased the number of refugees, dozens of activists and immigrant rights advocates are asking his administration for answers.
The Biden administration states the refugee limit will increase in May
After several requests, on Friday, April 16, the Biden administration finally commented on the refugee limit for fiscal year 2021. Initially, the current administration of the US stated that it would keep Trump’s limit (15,000 refugees) for this fiscal year.
However, after a flurry of criticism and controversy, press secretary Jen Psaki explained that the Biden administration plans to raise the refugee limit to 62,500 in mid-May. It is worth mentioning that Psaki also explained that due to multiple factors such as the global Coronavirus pandemic, the number of refugees entering the US this fiscal year will very likely not reach the new limit.
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