Despite pressure from campaigners to increase it even higher to fulfill the demand after falling well short of that objective this year, President Joe Biden on Wednesday decided to maintain the nation’s ceiling on refugee admissions at 125,000 for the 2023 fiscal year.
The Biden administration has been under pressure from supporters of refugees to do more to revive the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
Under the Trump administration, the more than four-decade-old program saw significant cutbacks that drove admissions to a record low of 15,000 students.
Biden increased the limit to four times that number, but less than 20,000 refugees have been accepted in the current fiscal year, ending on September 30.
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This figure does not include the approximately 180,000 Ukrainians and Afghans who entered the nation under a legal procedure called humanitarian parole, which allowed them to do so faster than through the standard refugee program but limited permitted stays of up to two years.
A route to permanent residence is made available to refugees. Each year, the president decides who gets admitted, and government funding for resettlement organizations is contingent on how many individuals they relocate in a given year.
In his presidential conclusion, Biden concluded that the 125,000 goal “is supported by humanitarian considerations or is otherwise in the national interest.”
Historically, both Democratic and Republican administrations have had a 95,000 average.