In April, President Biden announced that he would not raise the historically low quota for refugee admissions to the United States set by the Trump Administration. It means that this year even fewer refugees will enter the US than last year.During the campaign, Biden committed to accept 125,000 refugees but in February that number was dropped to 62,500. And now, even less than 12,000! A decision that would give Biden the dreadful distinction of the president resettling the lowest number of refugees ever. A record worse than that of Trump! After a flurry of protests from humanitarian organizations the White House now signals that the cap may be raised in May.
But why the antics? More than 35,000 refugees have already passed security clearances to enter USA and over 100,000 are waiting in the pipeline for years to be reunited. This announcement leaves thousands of people in limbo and vulnerable in refugee camps all over the world.
All this, while the Biden administration has opened flood gates of asylum seekers across the southern border. An asylum seeker by definition is a person who has left their country either voluntarily or involuntarily under a “perceived threat”. Their claim of perceived threat has not been verified yet. On the other hand, a refugee is a person who has already been driven out of their land against their wishes and the United Nations has checked their background and determined them to be refugees under the 1951 Convention. Before being admitted to the United States, they have had a full background and health check. Every detail of their past life has been scrutinized and only then they are deemed fit to be let into the United States. This, is the big difference here!
Mr. President, we implore you to not let these refugees suffer in terrible conditions in the camps. Today, there are more refugees in the world than ever. I beg you to allow the United States to rise above politics and reclaim its historic role as the safe haven for the world’s persecuted and most vulnerable.