Biden Increases Refugee Cap

Biden recently announced that he would increase the refugee cap for the fiscal year (ending September 30) to 62,500. This is a reversal from his prior statement that he would be leaving the Trump administration’s cap of 15,000 in place. The administration had seemed on the verge of increasing the refugee cap for months but President Biden never signed the final paperwork that would allow refugees to board planes for the US. When he finally announced that he would be leaving the cap at 15,000 it prompted fierce criticism from refugee advocates.

The new cap of 62,500 is in some ways more messaging than policy. Biden said meeting the new cap by the end of September would be unlikely due to budget and staffing cuts during the Trump administration. It’s nonetheless a positive sign that President Biden is taking seriously the need to shift course after the Trump administration’s policies.