However, Biden is on track to accept the fewest number of refugees this year of any modern president, including Trump, according to a report from the International Rescue Committee. "But now we are going to increase the number".
Psaki for the first time also said that "we expect the president to set a final, increased refugee cap for the remainder of this fiscal year by May 15". "In the morning we said, actually, with the information we put out, once we reach 15,000, we will raise it".
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said late Friday that Biden expects to raise the limit by May 15, but he likely won't increase it as high as 62,500 like he said he would.
Earlier Friday, Biden signed an executive order keeping the admission of refugees capped at 15,000 for fiscal 2021, a number set by the Trump administration. "There exists a national network of organizations, churches and state offices who have decades of experience resettling refugees", said Ali Noorani, president and CEO of the National Immigration Forum, an immigrant advocacy group. The cap pertains to the number of refugees who are allowed to enter the U.S.in a fiscal year.More news: Guelph police not conducting random stops, clarify role in provincial guideline enforcement
During the campaign, Biden vowed to raise the refugee cap to 125,000.
Specifically, Biden will fill 7,000 slots for refugees from Africa, where a huge amount of people are displaced by conflict, climate change, and more, and 3,000 for Latin America and the Caribbean, where the Venezuela migration crisis threatens to overtake the number of folks fleeing Syria. Though the presidential action does not require congressional approval, presidents in the past announced a refugee cap shortly after the notification to Congress.
"The refugee program is distinct from other paths of immigration and unrelated crises should not distract us from doing what's right for refugees", he continued.
The revised PD means that the US would admit only 4,100 refugees this fiscal year, which is already at the halfway point, the Evangelical Immigration Table noted in a statement, adding that Biden's refugee numbers "would be the lowest level in the USA refugee resettlement program's history".More news: Czech police hunt two men wanted over Salisbury novichok poisonings
"The global need for resettlement has never been greater", Hetfield said. The White House also blamed Trump for decimating the resettlement program in the USA, while the senior administration official cited the COVID-19 pandemic without elaborating.
Biden's cautious approach appears to have been tied to concerns over the optics of admitting more refugees at a time of rising numbers of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border in recent months, and to not wanting to look "too open" or "soft", another US official with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement "has personnel working on both issues and so we have to ensure that there is capacity and ability to manage both", Psaki added.
The move triggered a backlash from Democratic lawmakers and resettlement agencies. Trump limited most spots to people fleeing religious persecution, Iraqis who have assisted US forces there, and people from Central America's Northern Triangle.More news: US, China agree to cooperate on climate change
Psaki spent a chunk of Monday's briefing cleaning up the administration's Friday rollout of the refugree policy, calling the original 62,500 refugees an 'aspirational increase'.