BREAKING NEWS BRIEF
The White House announced that President Biden is expected to increase the refugee cap for this fiscal year just hours after signing an order that kept it at Trump-era levels and sparked fury from congressional Democrats. Former President Donald Trump lowered the refugee cap for FY 2021 to 15,000 — something Biden had pledged both during the campaign and his first days in office to raise.
Biden had promised to increase the cap to 125,000 for the next fiscal year, which begins in October. He also said he would work with Congress to make a “down payment” on that number. In the meantime, Secretary of State Antony Blinken proposed to Congress to lift the cap to 62,000 for this fiscal year.
However, the administration announced that Biden was signing an emergency presidential determination to keep the number at 15,000 while changing the regional allocation of who is brought in. This would allow more slots from Africa, the Middle East, and Central America while ending restrictions on Somalia, Yemen, and Syria.
The controversy represents the latest political difficulty for the Biden administration, which has been facing intense pushback over its handling of the continued crisis at the southern border. The administration has overseen a dramatic surge in migration.
The administration has been scrambling to cope with the influx, building new facilities and trying to get other countries to increase troop presences at their borders. However, critics have accused the administration of fueling the crisis by rolling back Trump-era border protections and policies.
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