Biden resists raising refugee cap over political optics, sources say
April 15, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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US President Joe Biden speaks to staff of the US State Department during his first visit in Washington, DC, February 4, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden has resisted signing off on raising the Trump-era refugee cap because of political optics, sources have told CNN.
(CNN)President Joe Biden has resisted signing off on raising the Trump-era refugee cap because of political optics, sources have told CNN.
Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden was committed to raising the refugee ceiling to 62,500 this fiscal year but she didn't provide a timeline.
The proposal was also in line with Biden's commitment during the campaign to raise the refugee ceiling and return the US to admitting a higher number of refugees after historic low arrivals under Trump.
"This executive order will position us to be able to raise the refugee admissions back up to 125,000 persons for the first full fiscal year of the Biden-Harris administration.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price previously suggested the delay was due to needing to get the refugee program back into shape after the Trump administration.
The Biden administration's discretionary budget request includes asking for additional funds to resettle a larger number of refugees, when compared with the Trump years.
Democratic lawmakers worry that part of the White House's calculation is that with the flow of migrants on the southern border, raising the refugee cap now -- even though it is an entirely different program -- could become a political problem.