White House now says Biden will move to increase refugee cap by May 15

·1 min read

The White House on Friday afternoon said President Biden plans to lift the Trump-era refugee cap by May 15.

Driving the news: The announcement follows stinging criticism from several Democrats and rights groups, who said Biden was walking back on his pledge to raise the limit. Earlier Friday, Biden signed a directive to speed up the processing of refugees, but kept the Trump administration's historically low cap of 15,000 refugees for this year.

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What they're saying: "The President’s directive today has been the subject of some confusion," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

  • "For the past few weeks, [Biden] has been consulting with his advisors to determine what number of refugees could realistically be admitted to the United States between now and October 1," she added.

  • "Given the decimated refugee admissions program we inherited, and burdens on the Office of Refugee Resettlement, his initial goal of 62,500 seems unlikely."

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