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Joe Biden raises refugee admissions cap after outcry



A family from Honduras turns themselves into the Border Patrol after crossing the United States border from Mexico on April 29, 2021 near Yuma, ArizonaIMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
image captionPresident Biden is facing a record surge of immigrants at the US-Mexico border

President Joe Biden has lifted the US annual refugee cap, bowing to outrage from his party after he initially opted to stick by the Trump-era figure.

The Democratic president is raising the cap from 15,000 to 62,500 after outcry by progressives and refugee agencies.

The White House had indicated Mr Biden would revise the figure in May.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Biden said his administration intends to raise this number next year to 125,000 refugees admitted.

The new figure “erases the historically low number” set by former President Donald Trump, Mr Biden said on Monday.

But the United States will not actually achieve 62,500 admissions this year, he said, arguing that his administration had to “undo the damage” of the previous administration.

Reports last month said Mr Biden was concerned about letting in more people amid a record influx at the US-Mexico border.

Figures for unaccompanied minors in particular have spiked, straining shelters and available resources. Photos from inside a migrant border facility showed children huddled together in makeshift rooms,

The Biden administration has consistently directed blame for the current problems at the border on the Trump administration, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki calling the immigration system left behind by Mr Trump “dismantled” and “unworkable”.

However, World Relief, a humanitarian organisation, last month said White House claims that the US refugee resettlement programme needed to be rebuilt after the Trump years was “a completely false narrative” and “a purely political calculation”


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