As the US-Mexico border crisis continues, with near daily reports of the crossing of thousands of migrants from the south into the US, the Biden administration is planning to raise the refugee admissions cap to 125,000 people per year. This is a doubling of the their previous cap of 62,500, and a 110,000 increase from Trump's previous cap.
This after the US took on the project of resettling tens of thousands of refugees from war-torn Afghanistan after the American military departure from that nation. The new cap is set to go into effect for the next fiscal year, which starts in October.
The pandemic, the State Department reports, has left the "world facing unprecedented global displacement and humanitarian needs." To that end, they write that "the United States is committed to leading efforts to provide protection and promote durable solutions to humanitarian crises, to include providing resettlement for the most vulnerable."
The State Department, which is with this statement "reaffirming" the US' "commitment to refugee resettlement in line with our long tradition of providing a safe haven and opportunity to individuals fleeing persecution," will be working with the Departments of Homeland Security as well as the Department of Health and Human Services.
The plan is part of Biden's "Report to Congress on the proposed Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2022," which was given to the Committees on the Judiciary of the US House and Senate.
The State Department recommended the doubling of the cap because they say that "A robust refugee admissions program is critical to U.S. foreign policy interests and national security objectives, and is a reflection of core American values."
The Biden administration says that "It is an important, enduring, and ongoing expression of our commitment to international humanitarian principles and reflects the best of America’s values and compassion."
When Biden first undertook to increase the number of global refugees permitted to resettle in the US, in May, he said that "It is important to take this action today to remove any lingering doubt in the minds of refugees around the world who have suffered so much, and who are anxiously waiting for their new lives to begin."
At this time, he increased the cap to 62,500 for fiscal year 2021. He promised to increase it further, and now has enacted an effort to do so. President Trump had reduced the number to 15,000, which was substantially lower than previously.
The administration was criticized for these increased levels. Oxfam said at the time: "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."
"This announcement," they said in a statement, "means the United States can finally begin to rebuild the life-saving refugee resettlement program and welcome the tens of thousands of people who have been left stranded by four years of the Trump administration's xenophobic policies and three months of the Biden administration's inaction."
The administration has been pressing for those who come to the US either as refugees, asylum seekers, or illegally through migration to be fast-tracked through the immigration process, reports Axios.