Amid a surge in refugees at the southern border, the Biden administration is planning to double the refugee cap from 62,500 to 125,000.
Since taking office, Biden has already approved one increase of the refugee cap from 15,000 to 62,500 in May. At the time, a statement released by the White House suggested that the limit “did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees.” Continuing, Biden said, “The new admissions cap will also reinforce efforts that are already underway to expand the United States’ capacity to admit refugees, so that we can reach the goal of 125,000 refugee admissions that I intend to set for the coming fiscal year.”
The administration aimed to “remove any lingering doubt” that potential refugees may have about entering the states. In contrast, the Trump administration closely monitored and limited the acceptance of refugees. In December of 2019, FBA reported, “[The Trump Administration] plans to decrease the amount of refugees the U.S. accepts in 2020 to 18,000, 12,000 less than 2019’s 30,000 refugee cap.”
Initially, the Biden administration suggested it would maintain former President Trump’s 15,000 refugee admission cap. However, in less than 10 months the number increased by fourfold. Since the beginning of the year, refugees have arrived in unprecedented numbers from a number of crisis-stricken countries, including Guatemala, Cuba, and Haiti.
Many refugees arrive with the belief that President Biden will be more welcoming than the previous administration, especially after the reversal of Trump-era border policies. Refugees arriving from Afghanistan will also contribute to the surge in numbers. Tens of thousands of Afghan refugees will be arriving and settling in nearly all 50 states after the US helped them flee the Taliban.