Biden Increases Refugee Cap By Nearly 400% But Likely Will Not Meet Cap

Posted on 05/06/21

In a recently released statement issued by the White House, President Biden has signaled that the nation’s annual refugee intake will dramatically increase to 62,500, fulfilling a campaign promise and “reasserting American leadership and American values when it comes to refugee admissions.” Biden faced backlash in the weeks leading up to the decision as he was considering delaying the increase but finally reversed course after outrage besieged him. The historically low refugee cap set by President Trump of just a mere 15,000 for the fiscal year 2021 was on track to only accept around 5,000 refugees for 2021. A far cry from the refugee-friendly policies of the Reagan Administration where nearly 230,0000 refugees were invited into the U.S. To ensure further advancement as the world’s humanitarian leader, President Biden also plans on increasing the refugee cap to 125,000 in the fiscal year 2022, far surpassing that of President Obama and Trump. When signing the order Biden stated, “it is important to take this action today to remove any lingering doubt in the minds of refugees around the world who have suffered so much, and who are anxiously waiting for their new lives to begin.” One thing is for certain, President Biden understands the need to protect the values of America, as a healer and a nation welcoming to all. Selective immigration policies brought on by the Trump administration have led to a tumultuous reign on our immigration system. Biden has taken swift action to reverse course and further allow the United States to be the world’s leader in refugee intakes.

President Biden originally proposed a plan to increase refugee intake in early February but went without his signature until early this week. In an emergency determination announced last month, Biden first expanded the narrow eligibility criteria put in place by Trump that had kept out most refugees. But Biden also left Trump’s 15,000 refugee cap citing it was justified in both “humanitarian and national interest.” To the anger of refugee rights groups and Democrats on the Hill, Biden reversed course on the Trump cap and subsequently increased it to 62,500. President Biden cited the need to increase the eligibility requirements and do away with the extensive refugee criteria that were in place from the Trump administration. This is not to say President Biden will toss up the rigorous screening process necessary in the admission of refugees. Rather fine-tuning and focusing efforts. The process in fact will “push hard to complete the rigorous screening process for those refugees already in the pipeline for admission.” Unfortunately, the refugee intake system has been flawed for many years and will require years to improve. President Trump was not the first nor the last president to undermine the refugee intake process. The increase in the refugee resettlement cap is a step in the right direction but likely will not be met this year, as cited by President Biden.

The conditions of numerous countries especially in Central/ South America and Africa further warrant increases in the refugee cap. Political corruption and widespread criminal activities in such countries have left its citizens without the proper support, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without the necessary guidance a government provides to its citizens. Such disparities call for the world’s largest democracy to take on its role. The United States action’s to prioritize the resettlement of refugees is a signal to the rest of the world that America is a nation of immigrants backed by a reputation of diversity and vibrant cultures. All across the country, we have seen the impacts of refugees from the foods we eat to the religions we practice. There is no denying the positive contributions immigrants bring to our society and economy. The failures of the past administration to acknowledge the impact of immigrants has only hurt Americans and refugees.

The Law Offices of James A. Welcome has closely followed the rollercoaster refugee cap admissions over the past two decades. At times we have applauded the advancements, and others we have vocalized our concerns. The importance of inviting those fleeing uncertain lives and establishing themselves in our communities is what America must do. We support Biden’s efforts to increase the refugee intake cap and hope for additional support to vulnerable communities around the world.

Planning on immigrating to the United States and are concerned or uncertain about the process? We understand the immigration journey can be complex and at times intimidating. Numerous requirements and ever-changing immigration policies require the expertise of a qualified professional to help guide your application and ensure no unnecessary delays. For nearly two decades, Attorney James A. Welcome, a Connecticut Immigration and Personal Injury attorney have advocated for the rights of his clients, securing the justice they deserve while developing an attitude of results-centered representation. Our firm understands that each case is different and requires a different approach to account for various circumstances and criteria. We want to ensure your American dream is possible and securing the right representation can make a difference. That is why we offer our clients award-winning representation specifically designed for your case. Rest assured knowing your case will get the competency and experience behind it. By working with our attorneys in Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury you will have our commitment to trusted results. Contact The Law Offices of James A. Welcome to start your immigration journey at (203) 753-7300 or visit