The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, praised President Joe Biden’s plan announced today to raise the cap on the number of refugees who could be admitted to the United States, saying it would send a powerful signal to other countries to continue to do the same.
The past four years have seen dramatic declines in the number of refugees resettled in the United States. The Trump administration repeatedly slashed the U.S.’ annual refugee admission cap, eventually setting it an all-time low of just 15,000; the Biden administration has yet to raise that number
Even before the Trump administration, the US refugee resettlement process was lengthy – it involved clearing complicated bureaucratic hurdles and waiting for years for slots to become available.
There are 33,000 refugees already approved to resettle in the U.S. who now find themselves in limbo. More than 700 have had their flights canceled at the last minute, many had sold their belongings and moved out of their homes.
New analysis by the International Rescue Committee reveals that midway through the 2021 fiscal year, only 2,050 refugees have been admitted to the United States, a new historical low despite promises by the Biden administration to immediately increase the number of refugees allowed to resettle into the United States.