He did not explain why he kept the limit at the 15,000 level set by Trump
Refugee families and their supporters, including 124 elected officials, sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Tuesday, calling on him to fulfill his promise to increase the number of refugees entering the United States in this fiscal year to replace the historical low set by his predecessor. digital. Donald Trump.
Biden proposed a plan to Congress two months ago to increase the upper limit of enrollment to 62,500 and remove the restrictions imposed by Trump, which has deprived a large number of refugees, including those who fled the war, of the right to vote. .
But Biden has not issued a presidential decision since his administration notified Congress as required by law. This measure does not require Congress to approve, and the previous president issued a similar presidential order shortly after notifying Congress to set access restrictions.
The Biden administration has not yet explained why the president kept the refugee admission limit at the 15,000 level set by Trump, which is the lowest level in the 41-year history of the US refugee resettlement program. The White House did not immediately respond to Tuesday’s letter.
“This continues to have a devastating impact on the urgent need for human humanitarian protection,” family members of refugees from 35 U.S. states, immigration agencies and 124 national and local elected officials signed the letter.
These agencies said that due to restrictions imposed by Trump, only about 2,050 refugees were admitted into the country.
The letter said that no action was taken every day, “Hundreds of refugee families have been trapped in refugee camps. Many people are waiting to be reunited with their relatives and waiting for us to fulfill our promise to protect them.”
“We hope President Biden can hear us,” said Nejra Sumic, one of the refugees who organized the letter.
The U.S. State Department coordinated flights with the resettlement agency and registered 715 refugees to the United States because they expected Biden to take action before March, but these flights were cancelled because the refugees did not comply with Trump’s regulations.
Most refugees are from Africa, and they escape armed conflict or political harassment. These agencies say that most positions are assigned to people fleeing religious persecution, Iraqis who have assisted American troops in the United States, and people in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Mark Hetfield, president of HIAS, a Jewish non-profit organization based in Maryland, said that one of the people whose flights was cancelled was a pregnant woman from Congo. She is currently unable to fly because she is in the third trimester of her pregnancy. There are 9 refugee settlement agencies in the United States.
He said: “There is no reasonable explanation for not making changes at this time.” He added that this puts “a lot of extra pressure on refugees.”