Joe Biden Now Describes Migrant Rush on the Border as a ‘Crisis’

White House backtracks on refugees decision after criticism

Historically, the United States has had a refugee ceiling on average of 95,000 refugees per year.

Psaki said on Friday Biden's "initial goal of 62,500 seems unlikely.given the decimated refugee admissions program we inherited".

In the meantime, the Biden administration has claimed it will not make a final decision until mid-May.

Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, said evangelical Christians' commitment to refugees "is rooted in the biblical belief that each of these individuals is a person made in the image of God with inherent dignity, whose lives are worth protecting".

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden has been consulting with advisors to "determine what number of refugees could realistically be admitted to the United States between now and October 1".

The order led to criticism from prominent Democrats, including Senator Dick Durbin, the second-highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate, who called the refugee limit "unacceptable".

"In recent years. the United States has not lived up to its ideals as the number of refugees welcomed into our country has plummeted due to policies that diminished the resettlement process", they stated at the time. "Say it ain't so, President Joe", Durbin said in a statement. The cap pertains to the number of refugees who are allowed to enter the a fiscal year.

Biden sent a plan to Congress, as required by law, two months ago to raise the refugee ceiling to 62,500.

The new allocations provide more slots for refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Central America and lift Trump's restrictions on resettlements from Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

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A reserve of about 1,000 slots can be used as needed.

The White House defended the decision by pointing to Trump's destruction of the refugee resettlement program, although resettlement agencies rejected that reasoning, and the situation at the southern US border, which the administration previously spent weeks downplaying.

The Biden administration has been heavily criticized for not doing the same.

"To be clear: the asylum process at the southern border and the refugee process are completely separate immigration systems. But now we are going to increase the number".

World Relief President Scott Arbeiter remarked, "At a time when refugees and immigrants need American leadership more than ever before, President Biden is refusing to take action". The White House also blamed Trump for decimating the resettlement program in the USA, while the senior administration official cited the COVID-19 pandemic without elaborating.

Biden's order to limit admissions to 15,000 was a blow to advocacy groups that wanted the Democratic president to move swiftly to reverse the refugee policies of the Republican Trump, who had set the figure as a way to limit immigration.

Psaki said Friday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Refugee Resettlement "does do management and has personnel working on both issues" - the border and refugees - "and so, we have to ensure that there is capacity and ability to manage both".

The White House is walking back President Joe Biden's use of the word 'crisis, ' which is how the president referred to the influx of migrants at the border during a chat with reporters Saturday.

On Saturday, Biden appeared to cave to the pressure of the progressive Democrats, and said that he would increase the refugee cap.

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