The Biden administration set a new record low for the number of refugees resettled after promising to revitalize a process largely halted under the Trump administration.
According to the State Department, the Biden administration resettled 11,411 refugees by the close of the fiscal year, which ended Friday. The White House failed to meet the previous low of 11,814 under former President Trump.
“The administration didn’t do a good enough job investing in rebuilding the overseas and domestic infrastructure that is our capacity to welcome, and they didn’t prioritize the improvements we’ve been recommending in order to strengthen the program and increase the number of arrivals,” said Meredith Owen, director of policy and advocacy for Church World Service.
The Biden administration and refugee advocates assigned blame to Trump’s time in office.
“We are saddened but unsurprised by the record-low admission figures for this fiscal year,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. “It speaks to the lasting damage of the Trump administration’s four-year assault on the refugee program.”
Biden informed Congressthat he wants the refugee cap to be 125,000 for the coming fiscal year, though he has yet to go through the proper channels to make it official.