‘Shameful,’ ‘unacceptable and unconscionable’: Biden faces blowback from Democrats over refugee cap


Democrats on Friday slammed President Joe Biden for maintaining in place this year the cap on refugees allowed to enter the United States set by the Trump administration.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., mentioned it was “unacceptable and unconscionable that the Biden administration will not be instantly repealing Donald Trump’s dangerous, xenophobic, and racist refugee cap that cruelly restricts refugee admissions to a traditionally low degree.”

“After 4 painful years of preventing Trump’s all-out draconian assault on immigrants, President Biden promised to revive America as a beacon of hope and dedicated to growing our refugee resettlement numbers. By failing to signal an Emergency Presidential Dedication to raise Trump’s traditionally low refugee cap, President Biden has damaged his promise to revive our humanity,” Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, mentioned.

“We can not flip our again on refugees world wide, together with a whole bunch of refugees who’ve already been cleared for resettlement, have offered their belongings, and are able to board flights.”

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-In poor health., known as the transfer “unacceptable.”

“These refugees can wait years for his or her probability and undergo intensive vetting. Thirty-five thousand are prepared. Dealing with the best refugee disaster in our time there isn’t a cause to restrict the quantity to fifteen,000. Say it ain’t so, President Joe,” Durbin, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, mentioned in an announcement.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the chairman of Senate International Relations Committee, additionally blasted Biden over the transfer.

“By failing to challenge a revised Dedication, the White Home has not solely stymied the variety of refugees permitted entrance into the US, but in addition it has prevented the Division of State from admitting vetted refugees presently ready within the system who don’t match into the unprecedentedly slender refugee classes designated by the Trump administration,” he mentioned in an announcement.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who fled Somalia when she was a toddler and spent years in a refugee camp in Kenya earlier than arriving within the U.S., tweeted that, “As a refugee, I do know discovering a house is a matter of life or demise for kids world wide.”

“It’s shameful that @POTUS is reneging on a key promise to welcome refugees,” she mentioned.

Home Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., tweeted he was “deeply upset by right now’s resolution to take care of Trump’s lowest refugee admissions goal,” whereas Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., who chairs the Home Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee, tweeted there was “no justification for this traditionally low refugee goal.”

“It undoes what the Admin agreed to of their session with me in February,” she added.

Former Texas Democratic congressman and 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro mentioned, “it is a unhealthy resolution.”

“Trump gutted our refugee program, a cornerstone of our world management and values. His polices cannot be the default we feature on—particularly for the sake of “optics,” he mentioned in a tweet.

Earlier Friday, NBC Information reported that Biden won’t improve the variety of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. this 12 months, in accordance with a senior administration official, breaking a previous promise to lift the cap from the historically-low degree set by the Trump administration.

Biden notified Congress in February that he would improve the variety of refugees allowed to enter the nation from 15,000 to 62,500 within the fiscal 12 months ending Sept. 30, upping it to 125,000 for the next 12 months. However he by no means signed the presidential dedication that will really elevate the cap, successfully maintaining the cap at Trump-era ranges. Such paperwork is often signed shortly after a coverage announcement.

Biden leaving the cap highlights the pressure on his administration to handle the surge of migrants, a lot of them unaccompanied kids, arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border searching for asylum. Republicans have criticized Biden for the state of affairs, portray his administration as weak on border safety.

Later Friday afternoon, in an obvious response to the outpouring of criticism, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned in an announcement that Biden’s “directive right now has been the topic of some confusion,” and mentioned that “we count on the president to set a last, elevated refugee cap for the rest of this fiscal 12 months by Could 15.”

In the meantime, America’s Voice, a progressive immigration reform proponent, mentioned in an announcement earlier that, “That is unhealthy coverage and unhealthy politics.”

“As a coverage matter, there isn’t a legitimate coverage cause to take care of the shockingly low refugee cap. As a political matter, President Biden will alienate a variety of his supporters by failing to show the web page on President Trump’s racism, xenophobia and scapegoating of immigrants and refugees,” the group mentioned.