U.S. President Joe Biden will be attending a CEO Summit on Semiconductor and Supply Chain Resilience via videoconference on April 12, 2021 in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC.
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President Joe Biden said Saturday he would raise the cap on the number of refugees admitted to the United States this year, the day after he was criticized by Democratic lawmakers for agreeing to keep the historically low number.
Biden signed a resolution on Friday to extend the limit imposed by his predecessor Donald Trump for the admission of 15,000 refugees until the end of September. By signing the deal, Biden has put on hold a plan announced in February to increase the cap to 62,500.
Biden told reporters in Delaware on Saturday after playing golf that he would cross the 15,000 mark.
“We’re going to increase the number. The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended at the border with young people. We couldn’t do two things at the same time, so we’re going to increase the number now.” he said.
As Biden has been criticized by lawmakers and refugee advocacy groups, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday he plans “by May 15 to set a final, increased cap on refugees for the remainder of the fiscal year.”
Biden’s order to limit admissions to 15,000 was a blow to interest groups who wanted the Democratic president to move swiftly to reverse the refugee policy of Republican Trump, who had set the number in part as a way to limit immigration.
The refugee reception program is different from the asylum system for migrants. Unlike migrants who arrive at a U.S. border and then apply for asylum, refugees still need to be screened abroad and cleared for entry into the United States.
Biden’s cautious approach seems to have been associated with visual concerns, at a time when more and more migrants are arriving at the border between the US and Mexico, accepting more refugees and not wanting to look “too open” or “soft”, another American official with knowledge of the matter previously told Reuters.
Psaki said Friday that Biden’s “initial target of 62,500 seems unlikely … given the decimated refugee reception program we have inherited.”
Republicans have blamed Biden for the situation at the border and criticized his moves to reverse other Trump-era immigration policies.
Biden took office to redesign US immigration policy, including a more compassionate approach. But his initial decision to leave the caps in place contradicted his promise as a candidate.