WASHINGTON – The Biden administration said Monday that it would allow 62,500 refugees to resettle in the United States this year, reversing course after the White House initially said it would keep a historically low Trump-era limit on those fleeing war, violence and persecution.
President Joe Biden made the announcement weeks after he sparked a political uproar from human rights groups and Democrats in Congress over an earlier plan to limit refugees to 15,000 – a figure set by former President Donald Trump.
“Today, I am revising the United States’ annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year,” Biden said in a statement. “This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees.”
Advocates welcomed the announcement but said Biden needed to move quickly to help refugees who have been in limbo.
“We are relieved that the Biden administration has, after a long and unnecessary delay, kept its promise to raise the refugee admissions cap for this year to 62,500,” said Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam America’s global policy lead.