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Biden raises refugee cap to 62,500 after facing criticism for keeping Trump-era levels in place

NBC News logo NBC News 3 days ago Lauren Egan
Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie © Provided by NBC News

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Monday he will raise the cap on the number of refugees admitted to the United States to 62,500 for this fiscal year, following criticism last month after he announced he would preserve a Trump-era limit on that category.

"This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees," Biden said in a statement.

"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."

After announcing in April that they would keep the number of refugees admitted at 15,000, and sharp criticism from Democrats, the White House abruptly shifted course, promising to announce an increased cap by May 15.

Still, Biden said Monday that the "sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year," citing the "damage" that President Donald Trump did to the refugee program.

In the statement, Biden said he was committed to raising the cap to 125,000 refugees for the following fiscal year, but that "that goal will still be hard to hit."

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