US wants to take in tens of thousands more refugees | Free press

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After fierce criticism, including from his own ranks, US President Biden has significantly raised the upper limit on the admission of refugees – thus putting an end to Trump’s policies.

Washington (AP) – The US government raises the cap on refugee admission for the current fiscal year, set by ex-President Donald Trump.

Instead of the “historically low” cap of 15,000, a maximum of 62,500 refugees should now be admitted by the end of September, as President Joe Biden said Monday (local time). The aim is to help refugees worldwide “who have already suffered so much” and are now “anxiously waiting to start their new life”. Next year, the upper limit will be raised to 125,000 as planned.

By raising the current year limit, Democrat Biden took the wind out of harsh criticism from the left wing of his party. Several MPs had accused him of continuing his predecessor’s “racist and xenophobic” policies. Human rights organizations also criticized Biden. Criticism arose from the fact that in mid-April the government only announced a change to the origin criteria for the existing upper limit of 15,000 – and not an increase to 62,500 as previously promised by Biden. After a storm of criticism, the White House said there had been “confusion” and announced it would set a new upper limit in mid-May.

However, Biden admitted on Monday that it likely won’t be possible to actually exhaust the 62,500 cap by the end of September. This is the “sad truth,” he said. “We are working to repair the damage from the past four years,” he said, referring to the Trump administration. The refugee admission program is now being restarted.

Trump’s limit of 15,000 people was the lowest since the refugee program was introduced in 1980. Under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, the limit was last at 85,000 refugees. The refugees are usually checked in their country or region of origin and, if successful, brought to the US by air.

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