Humanitarian Group: Biden to Admit Fewer Refugees Than Trump (Dreamstime)
Monday, 12 April 2021 05:42 PM
President Joe Biden is on pace to admit fewer refugees into the United States this fiscal year than former President Donald Trump did in his last year in office — and fewer than any president in history, according to a report released by a humanitarian group.
According to the report just released by the International Rescue Committee, only 2,050 refugees have been admitted to the United States through the first half of the current fiscal year through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).
"While the Biden administration has taken important steps to rebuild the USRAP … there has now been an unexplained and unjustified eight-week delay in issuing the revised refugee admissions policy," the report stated.
That leaves Trump-era policies in place, the report says, adding that "As a result, tens of thousands of already-cleared refugees remain barred from resettlement and over 700 resettlement flights have been canceled, leaving vulnerable refugees in uncertain limbo."
If the current pace continues and the policies are not changed, "the Biden administration will admit an estimated 4,510 refugees in FY21, less than half of the last year of the Trump administration and fewer than any president in history," the group said.
The historic average is 80,000 admissions per year, and the current cap is 15,000.
In addition to the cap being historically low, it also bars admission of refugees from some of the "world’s worst displacement crises," including countries such as Somalia, Syria and Yemen except in narrow cases.
"These categories have a strong impact on the composition of refugees admitted to the U.S., with an exclusionary impact on Muslim refugees and those fleeing the world’s worst crises in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East," the group said.
Biden is also refusing to use resettlement for Central American refugees, according to the group, despite his executive order in February to do so.
"This directive is timely," the group said. "the number of refugees in the Americas predicted to need resettlement is estimated to have increased to 29,374 people from 2020 to 2021, a 489% increase."
Still, the group said, only 139 refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have been brought into the United States and only one refugee from Venezuela even though they represent 72% of all resettlement needs in the Americas, according to the IRC.
The IRC was critical of what it termed Trump's Muslim ban and ban on refugees from African nations. Biden, they say, is doing nothing to overturn those practices.
Republicans have been critical of Biden for his executive orders reversing Trump's immigration policies, pointing to the current influx at the southern border, including unaccompanied children who are being crammed into facilities meant for far fewer people.
The Biden White House has been reluctant to term the situation a "crisis."
"By rescinding the political asylum agreements we had with Mexico to remain in Mexico and Central American countries, we kept these applicants outside the United States," Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, told Fox News last week.
"The reversal of that policy under the Trump administration, with Biden reversing these policies, he has created a boondoggle for the traffickers, where they exploit these children," McCaul said. "They separate them from their parents in Central America, and take them up this very dangerous journey."
The White House didn't respond to Fox's request for comment.