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News > U.S.

Biden Going Back and Forth on Refugees

  • Let's talk human rights: unaccompanied children at a US detention camp

    Let's talk human rights: unaccompanied children at a US detention camp | Photo: PressTV

Published 17 April 2021

US President announced in February an increase in the number of refugees to be admitted in the United States from 15,000 to 62, 500, reversing his predecessor's policy. Then, on Friday, he signed an order keeping Donald Trump's 15,000 cap through September, only to step back on Saturday, promising again to go beyond that limit.

The reason for these changes of mind seems to be criticism from Democratic members of Congress and immigrant advocacy groups, after signing the contradictory order. Trump's cap of 15,000 annual refugees is the lowest in US history, coherent with the former President anti-immigration stand.

Biden told reporters in Delaware on Saturday after playing golf that he would go beyond the 15,000 limit.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday he planned to "set a final, increased refugee cap for the remainder of this fiscal year by May 15."


Troops in Central America to Stem Migration Tide

The program for admitting refugees is distinct from the asylum system for migrants. Refugees must be vetted while still overseas and cleared for entry to the United States. Migrants arrive at a U.S. border and then request asylum.

Biden seems to be in doubt about looking too soft or too tough on immigration, at a time when rising numbers of people fleeing widespread poverty in Central America, resulting from neoliberal policies, reach US borders in search of better living conditions.

Human Rights groups have criticized the harsh conditions in which “illegal” migrants are being kept at detention centers set up by the US government on border zones.

The figures stemming from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show over 100,000 would-be migrants caught at the border in February, and some 171,700 more individuals in March, including almost 19,000 unaccompanied minors – a new record nearly doubling the 11,861 unaccompanied minors detained during the 2019 migration surge.

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