U.S. President Joe Biden is formally lifting the nation's refugee cap to 62,500 this year, weeks after facing bipartisan blowback for his delay in lifting former President Donald Trump's limit of 15,000.
Biden last month moved to expand the eligibility criteria for resettlements, removing one roadblock to refugees entering the U.S. put in place by Trump, but he had initially stopped short of lifting the annual cap, with aides saying they did not believe it was necessary. But Biden faced sharp pushback for not at least taking the symbolic step of authorizing more refugees to enter the U.S. this year and swiftly reversed course.
Biden, in a statement, said the new limit "erases the historically low number set by the previous administration," adding that Trump's cap "did not reflect America's values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees."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," Biden added.