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The Biden Administration Fell 80 Percent Short of Its 2022 Refugee Goal

The Biden Administration Fell 80 Percent Short of Its 2022 Refugee Goal

The Biden administration allocated 125,000 spots for refugees in 2022 but has only admitted 25,000, just 20 percent of its stated goal. The dramatic discrepancy is being chalked up to numerous factors, including the Covid-era rollback of refugee services and the Trump Administration’s gutting of the department.

The refugee cap represents the upper limit of the amount of refugees allowed into the U.S. every year, and there is no legal mandate to meet that cap. Nevertheless, President Joe Biden sharply boosted the refugee cap following pressure of activist groups and his move was seen as a retort to former President Donald Trump’s historically low refugee cap.

However, reality has fallen short of Biden’s lofty goals. His first year in office, Biden allocated 62,500 spots, but only 11,411 refugees were admitted — a record low. This year’s roughly 25,400 refugees is an improvement, but still falls far short of Biden’s goals and the nation’s ability to help during a historic influx of displacement across the globe.

Biden has kept the refugee cap at 125,000 for 2023, and immigration policy experts are hopeful that they’ll be able to get closer to that limit next year while admitting that filling all 125,000 spots is unlikely.

“We are going to do everything in our power to welcome as many refugees as we can this year, recognizing that 125,000 remains a very ambitious target and it will take some time to get there,” Deputy Assistant State Department Secretary Sarah Cross, who serves in the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, told CBS News. “But we are very optimistic that we’re going to reach much higher levels than this year.”

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