This Sunday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that by May 15, President Joe Biden would be increasing the annual refugee quota established by his predecessor, Donald Trump, currently at 15,000. However, he did not specify how much it would rise. The pronouncement was made after the US president renewed the previous Administration’s measure on Friday, assuring that it was necessary due to the current migration crisis at the border, which generated an avalanche of criticism against the Democrat.
As criticism mounts over Joe Biden’s initial decision to renew Donald Trump’s historic low quota of 15,000 refugees a year, the White House reported that the current president would set a “final and increased refugee limit” for the rest. of this fiscal year, before May 15.
On Friday, the president signed an order to maintain the figure set by Trump this year, the lowest since the law regulating this protection came into force in 1980. The current head of state justified the measure due to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the high flow of migrants on the border with Mexico.
That decision would breach its promise to increase the number of refugees admitted to 62,500 during this fiscal year ending in September. The avalanche of criticism against the Democratic president was immediate and the rejection came from members of his own political party and allies on Capitol Hill, as well as from human rights organizations who have been waiting for Biden to quickly reverse the refugee policy. left by far-right Donald Trump to limit immigration.
Senate Second Democrat Dick Durbin called the initial cap “unacceptable” and Congressman Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Biden in a letter Friday that his inaction “undermines his stated purpose of reverse the refugee policies of his predecessor. ” In addition, he assured that with this action it is unlikely that the program can reach its objective for the next budget year of 125,000 refugees, to which Biden has committed.
For his part, Stephen Miller, a key architect of Trump’s immigration policies, said maintaining Trump’s limit “reflects Team Biden’s awareness that the border flooding will cause record midterm losses.”
Biden justifies the low quota of refugees due to the crisis on the border with Mexico
Although Biden justified a low refugee quota due to the overwhelming increase in undocumented immigrants who have arrived at the United States border with Mexico in the last two months, there are those who criticize him, indicating that the refugee admission program is different from the system of asylum for migrants.
Refugees must be assessed while they are still abroad pending authorization to enter the US, unlike migrants who arrive at the border and then apply for asylum.
“This cruel policy is no more acceptable now than it was during the Trump administration (…) To be clear: the asylum process at the southern border and the refugee process are completely separate immigration systems. Combining the two constitutes giving in to the politics of fear, “said Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Biden’s remarks show that his cautious approach would correspond to the crossroads he is at in the face of immigration. Since coming to power, he has signed a series of executive orders in an attempt to overturn tough anti-immigration measures that ruled the Trump era.
Among them, the creation of a working group to reunite migrant families who were separated at the border by the “zero tolerance” strategy imposed in 2018 by its predecessor, the revision of the so-called “public charge” rule, making it difficult for poorer immigrants to obtain residency, the reversal of the so-called “Stay in Mexico” rule, which forced asylum seekers in the United States to wait for a response in a third country. And the presentation of a bill for a path to citizenship to around 11 million undocumented people who reside in their country.
But a record number of undocumented immigrants soon emerged on the border with Mexico. The arrival of foreigners went from about 7,000 last January to about 19,000 in February, according to data from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE), which shows a vertiginous increase since Biden arrived at the White House.
In the Washington political circle, Biden has been held responsible for the situation and especially the Republicans demand that he stop the issue. Biden’s recent statements would aim to offset that high number of people at the border with a low rate of refugees. The White House spokeswoman admitted that this is a “factor” and that the Government works to ensure that there is capacity to manage both issues.
“We are going to increase the number (…) The problem was that the part of the refugees was working on the crisis that ended at the border with young people. We could not do two things at the same time. But now we are going to increase the number”, Biden said on Friday after being questioned for renewing the low foster quota left by Trump.
Biden even used the word “crisis” when explaining the measure, which caused surprise, since until now his government had preferred to refer to the problem as a “challenge.”
Critics on both sides of the political spectrum accuse the president of giving in to pressure.
It is “unlikely” that this fiscal year quota will increase to more than 62,000 as Biden had promised
The Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, the same one who on February 12 notified Congress of a plan to raise the maximum limit of admissions to 62,500, assured this Sunday in an interview with local television that it is “difficult” that the quota of refugees your country admits annually will rise to that number during this fiscal year.
Blinken blamed the previous Administration that it is not possible to achieve that goal, for having inherited a “broken” system.
In the same vein, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki referred. “Given the decimated refugee intake program that we inherited,” it is now “unlikely” that Biden can increase that number to 62,500, as he had proposed in his plan to Congress two months ago, he said.
Both agreed, however, that the Government will try to increase the figure to some extent, although not as high as expected. They noted that Biden has been consulting with his advisers to determine how many refugees could realistically be admitted to the United States between now and Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
“We can start bringing in people who have been in the process and couldn’t get in. That starts today and we will review it in mid-May,” Blinken stressed.
Usually that measure does not require congressional approval, and previous presidents have issued such determinations that limit refugee admissions shortly after notification to Congress.
With Reuters, AP and EFE
#criticism #Biden #plans #increase #Trumps #refugee #quota