“We’re Working To Undo The Damage Of The Last Four Years,” Biden Promises In Refugee Statement
The Trump Administration embraced xenophobia and anti-immigration sentiments. The Biden administration is beginning to reopen admission of refugees, and is raising the cap on the number accepted each year. President Joe Biden released a statement describing America as “a nation that welcomes and supports refugees.” He also framed it as not only a reversal, but repair of policies from the previous administration.
Joe Biden’s full statement on refugee admissions can be found here, at the official White House site.
The central points of the statement can be summed up in the following four sentences clipped from the full text.
Today, I am revising the United States’ annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year. This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees…That goal will still be hard to hit. We might not make it the first year. But we are going to use every tool available to help these fully-vetted refugees fleeing horrific conditions in their home countries.
However, one more thing stands out in the middle of the full statement, especially for those who appreciate a subtle dig at the former president.
The sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year. We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway.
Biden has definitely been hit by criticism for not being quicker on the draw when it comes to fixing the immigration policies put in place by the Trump Administration, but this statement, and the actions attached to is, do represent one step in that direction.
Families belong together. That’s why I established a Family Reunification Task Force in my first weeks as president. We’re working tirelessly to bring families together — and this week we will begin to reunite the first of those families. https://t.co/jLiMHK2M5C
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 3, 2021
He also announced that the program to reunite families separated under the policies of the previous administration is getting underway, with some of the first reunifications taking place this week.