In President Biden’s first one hundred days in office, the newly-appointed U.S. leader has faced harsh criticism for his inaction on the refugee situation at the southern border. During Trump’s time as president, the maximum amount of refugees permitted into the United States per year decreased to 15,000, a number that President Biden was expected to raise during his first weeks in office. Biden did not increase the refugee cap until receiving public blowback, at which point the limit was raised to 62,500 people. Biden spoke out about this issue on May 3, stating that the Trump Administration’s previous number “did not reflect America’s values,” claiming that this country instead “welcomes and supports refugees.”
After facing criticism from both parties for his handling of the migrants at the US-Mexico border, Biden hesitated to sign off on the proposed increase to the refugee cap, despite the separate nature of the border situation and the well-established refugee program.
For the next fiscal year, the president has set a goal of 125,000 refugee admissions. He assures the public that his administration is currently working hard to reach an already elevated goal for 2021, but that next year will present the opportunity for a substantial shift in the number of admitted refugees in comparison to the past four years. Following four years of harsh limits of asylum seekers and refugees, it appears as if Biden plans to fulfill his immigration promise, or is at least providing hope to the many migrants awaiting a supportive and motivated presidential administration.