"The White House has not only stymied the number of refugees permitted entrance into the United States, but also it has prevented the Department of State from admitting vetted refugees now waiting in the system who do not fit into the unprecedentedly narrow refugee categories designated by the Trump administration", Menendez wrote. So, the fact that the refugee ceiling is 15,000 means that it's not only the lowest number ever set in the history of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, but it effectively shuts out many deserving refugees from being able to be reunited with their loved ones in the United States.
The White House has walked back an earlier announcement that it will keep the refugee ceiling of 15,000 set by the Trump administration following a widespread backlash.
"We will use the 15,000 vacancies and work with Congress to increase admissions and get back to the numbers we pledged to", he wrote on his social media.
The order allocated 7,000 slots for refugees from Africa, 3,000 from Latin America, 1,500 from Europe and Central Asia, 1,500 from the Near East and South Asia, and 1,000 from East Asia.
Another concern has been the record pace of unaccompanied migrants crossing the US-Mexico border, which has drawn in numerous resources that would go to vetting, processing and resettling refugees in the US.
Menendez, who said that Trump "abdicated America's global leadership" by setting the cap as low as he did, maintained a collegial tone with Biden but emphasized that the new president's decision had hamstrung hundreds of refugees whose transit to the United States was already in process.
"Given the decimated refugee admission program we inherited and the burden of the refugee resettlement office, its initial target of 62,500 seems unlikely", he said.
US President Joe Biden Vows To Withdraw From Afghanistan By September 11
About 2 400 USA service members have been killed in the course of the Afghan conflict and many thousands more wounded. USA officials provided details on Mr Biden's decision on condition of anonymity, speaking ahead of the announcement.
"While finalizing that determination, the president was urged to take immediate action to reverse the Trump policy that banned refugees from many key regions, to enable flights from those regions to begin within days".
Biden returns to the rules that were in place before Trump and welcomes refugees based on their region of the world.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken notified Congress on February 12 of a plan to raise the ceiling on admissions to 62,500, but no presidential determination followed.
And Rep. Illhan Omar (D-Minn.) noted progressives recently sent a letter to Biden calling for the administration to act quickly in its promise to increase the cap.
Biden's decision to delay issuing the revised refugee cap for this year appeared tied to concerns over the optics of admitting more refugees amid rising levels of migrants arriving at the U.S. -Mexico border in recent months, and to not wanting to look "too open" or "soft", another U.S. official with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. But should the cap be reached before the end of the current budget year and the emergency refugee situation persists, then a presidential determination may be issued to raise the ceiling. Upholding the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump admin, incl the historically low + plummeted refugee cap, is flat out wrong.
Some 35,000 refugees have been cleared to go to the United States, and 100,000 remain in the pipeline and their lives remain in limbo, said David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee.
"The global need for resettlement has never been greater", Hetfield said.