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AOC, immigration advocates fume after Biden fails to lift Trump-era cap on refugee admissions, breaking his election pledge

President Joe Biden has raised the ire of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and different immigration proponents by apparently breaking his pledge to lift predecessor Donald Trump’s traditionally low cap on refugee admissions to the US.

“Utterly and totally unacceptable,” Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) stated on Friday. “Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and folks voted for him primarily based on that promise. Upholding the xenophobic and racist insurance policies of the Trump administration, together with the traditionally low and plummeted refugee cap, is flat-out incorrect. Maintain your promise.”

The assertion got here after Biden issued an emergency declaration that stored the variety of refugee admissions for the federal authorities’s present fiscal yr, ending on September 30, at 15,000. The declaration additionally will velocity refugee admissions, nevertheless it breaks with a pledge to spice up the cap to 62,500 within the present fiscal yr and to 125,000 in fiscal 2022.

The US beforehand admitted about 80,000 refugees yearly, on common, however this system was curtailed after Trump took workplace in 2017. The Trump administration set the cap at 18,000 within the fiscal yr ended on September 30, 2020 – fewer than 12,000 had been truly admitted – and lowered it to fifteen,000 for fiscal 2021.

“It is a dangerous resolution,” former presidential candidate Julian Castro stated of Biden’s transfer. “Trump gutted our refugee program, a cornerstone of our world management and values. His insurance policies cannot be the default we feature on, particularly for the sake of optics.”

The choice comes amid a southern border disaster that has angered voters of all political stripes. A Quinnipiac ballot launched earlier this week confirmed that though Biden has an total approval ranking of 48%, solely 29% of Individuals approve of his border insurance policies. Solely 27% of Hispanic Individuals and 58% of Democrats approve. Unlawful border crossings and apprehensions of unaccompanied minors have surged to report highs after Biden’s insurance policies incented households to ship their youngsters to the US with smugglers.

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The White Home responded to the backlash by issuing an announcement afterward Friday, saying Biden will set a closing refugee admissions cap for the present fiscal yr by Might 15. Press secretary Jen Psaki stated Biden has been consulting with advisers on what number of refugees the US can accommodate by the top of September.

Given the “decimated” program that Biden inherited from Trump and the present border “burdens” on the Workplace of Refugee Settlement, “his preliminary objective of 62,500 appears unlikely,” Psaki stated.

However Nationwide Immigration Discussion board president Ali Noorani stated a nationwide community of NGOs, church buildings and state workplaces have a long time of expertise in settling refugees, so refugee resettlement “has nothing to do with what is occurring on the border.”

Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller stated the delay in elevating the refugee cap displays the Biden workforce’s consciousness that the border disaster will result in report Democrat losses within the midterm congressional elections. He added that the “staggering” variety of unlawful aliens being launched on the border dwarfs the variety of admissions that will have been gained if Biden stored his pledge.

Economist Robert Reich, who was secretary of labor underneath former President Invoice Clinton, stated Biden has no excuse for retaining Trump’s “disgracefully low” refugee cap. “That is greater than only a shameful damaged promise,” Reich stated. “Inaction can have actual, dangerous penalties for the 1000’s of individuals desperately in search of security.”

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Unlawful US border crossings surge to highest stage in two DECADES

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