On May 3, 2021, President Joe Biden announced that his administration is increasing the cap on refugee admissions from 15,000 to 62,500 for this fiscal year. He said that the lower figure failed to reflect the values of the United States and erases the “historically low number” established by the Trump administration.
In addition, President Biden also promised to raise the cap to 125,000 refugees next year, which is one of his campaign goals. However, he claims that the goal will be difficult to achieve in the first year, but the administration will use every available resource to protect refugees from the horrific conditions in their native countries.
Under President Barack Obama’s last year in office, the refugee cap was 110,000. Even though the former administration significantly slashed the number down to 15,000, only approximately 2,000 refugees had entered the U.S. by the end of March 2021, according to the Refugee Processing Center.
In April, Biden made an emergency declaration that the refugee cap of 15,000 was justified due to humanitarian reasons, which resulted in outrage from supporters and refugee agencies. Then hours later, the White House declared that the president would revise the number the following month.
Under current allocations, the U.S. can accept approximately 22,000 refugees from Africa, which is the most of any continent. Thousands more are expected from Latin America and the Caribbean, East and South Asia, Europe and Central Asia, and more.