Biden raises refugee admissions cap to 62,500 after backlash

President Joe Biden has raised the cap for refugee admissions into the United States to 62,500, in a U-turn that more than quadruples the limit set by predecessor.

The number announced on Monday was still short the 125,000 Biden promised during presidential campaign, though he said he intended to set that as the goal for next year.

Biden had previously set this year’s refugee admissions level 15,000, maintaining the cap set by former president Donald , but after receiving criticism in April he walked it back.

“Today, I am revising the United States’ annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year.

“This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration 15,000, which did not reflect America’s as a nation that welcomes and refugees,” Biden said in a on Monday.

He said that the 62,500 cap was unlikely to be reached this fiscal year, which Sept. 30.

“We are working quickly to undo the damage the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway,” he added.

The administration’s 15,000 cap was the lowest the introduction of the U.S. refugee programme in 1980.

The previous limit for the last fiscal year was 18,000.

In 2016, then-president Barack Obama’s last full year in , about 85,000 refugees were allowed into the U.S.

lowered the limit in 2017, first in , and about 53,000 refugees were let in, according to a issued last year by the Department of Homeland Security. (dpa/NAN)