Biden has yet to reverse Trump-era refugee limitations, on track to accept fewest refugees of any modern president

by Joel Abbott · Apr 12th, 2021 3:00 pm

Last Updated Apr 13th, 2021 at 10:14 am

President Biden has yet to fulfill his campaign promise to reverse the refugee policies set by former President Donald Trump, according to the nonprofit International Rescue Committee (IRC).

In his first two weeks in office, Biden signed an executive order that would strengthen refugee resettlement programs and raise the cap on annual refugee admissions to 125,000 from Trump's 15,000 starting October 1.

Biden has yet not signed a presidential determination that would enact the order, however, meaning the 15,000-person cap is still in place.

"I don't know the specific reason why he hasn't signed, and it's really unusual that he hasn't signed," said IRC Vice President for Global Policy and Advocacy Nazanin Ash. "It is typically a standard, automatic last step in the process."

Should Biden not sign the determination, only 4,510 refugees will be admitted into the U.S. this fiscal year.

More than 100 state and local officials have signed a statement urging Biden to sign the determination and raise the refugee resettlement cap to 62,500 for the second half of this fiscal year, which ends September 30.


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