Biden reaffirms campaign promise to increase US admissions of refugees
US DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL candidate Joe Biden arrives at a campaign event in Hermantown, Minnesota, September 18, 2020
(photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
“We’re safer, stronger, a better country because of their contributions,” said Biden on the impacts of accepting more refugees.
President-elect Joe Biden reaffirmed his campaign promise to raise the US annual refugee admissions target to 125,000 on Thursday, Huff Post reported. This target is higher than the target of 110,000 admissions target approved by former president Barack Obama in 2016. In a video recorded for the 40th anniversary of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Biden said that "The US has long stood as a beacon of hope for the downtrodden and oppressed, a leader in resettling refugees, in our humanitarian response.” He then promised to "reclaim that proud legacy for our country.” “We’re safer, stronger, a better country because of their contributions,” said Biden on the impacts of accepting more refugees. Trump temporarily froze refugee admissions in one of his first executive orders and his administration repeatedly lowered available slots, according to Huff Post. In October the slots were capped at 15,000, a historic low. Trumps admissions policies led to much of the US admission program infrastructure being dismantled after budgets were cut, making hitting Biden's target a challenge. Another challenge that a Biden administration will face following Trump administration policy is reuniting separated migrant families, according to NBC. There are still 666 children Trump administration lawyers have not been able to find the parents of. Additionally, some parents who were contacted have chosen to leave their children in the US anticipating that they will be able to have better, safer lives there. The "Remain in Mexico" policy will also pose logistical challenges for the Biden administration, NBC reported. The Biden administration is committed to ending this policy, but has not yet determined a way to do so, a source told NBC. The Jesuit Refugee Service is a Catholic organization the mission of which is to advocate on behalf of refugees and forcibly displaces persons.