The US government canceled and announced on Monday (3) that it would increase the number of refugees able to enter the country to 62,500 – the Democratic administration was criticized when President Joe Biden said it would maintain the ceiling imposed by Donald Trump.
In April, the White House said it would not increase its quota to 15,000 foreigners seeking refuge, the lowest number since the inception of the National Refugee Program in 1980.
“[A nova decião] erases the historically low number set by the administration that did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees, ”the president said in a statement released by the White House.
The text says the decree signed last month was aimed at “adjusting only the distribution of admissions” – at the time, Biden expanded the list of countries eligible for asylum – and that his intention was to address the number of vacancies in one. separate determination.
Still, Biden said the United States should not be able to accommodate the 62,500 refugees by the end of the current fiscal year on September 30 and that the process is expected to “take some time.” , but that the government work “quickly to undo the damage of the past four years [do governo Trump]”.
Leaving the White House, former President Barack Obama stipulated that up to 110,000 people could be accommodated in this modality in 2017. In the years that followed, Trump reduced the numbers as part of his anti- immigration.
The Republican leadership had given priority to requests for refuge from Iraqis who worked for the US military, mostly Christians, who face religious persecution.
Biden’s plan, in turn, is expected to distribute the vacancies as follows: 22,000 for Africa, 6,000 for East Asia, 4,000 for Europe and Central Asia, 5,000 for Latin America and the Caribbean, 13,000 for East and South Asia and 12,500 for other groups. .
The decision comes and goes as the United States faces a surge in the number of immigrants trying to enter illegally. Although the situation at the US border is different from that of the refugee program, there are growing concerns that the increase in the number of crossings is already placing a burden on the refugee sector of the Department of Health. and Social Services.
Maintaining the Trump-era admission level would leave thousands of refugees allowed into the United States trapped in camps around the world.
While those on American soil have the legal right to seek asylum and may potentially appear before an immigration judge, refugees seeking protection abroad are forced to undergo different levels of screening that can often take years.
Refugee groups have said the delay in the Biden government’s decision making has already led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights for refugees allowed into the country.