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Democrats condemn Biden’s reversal on refugee cap as ‘cruel’ and ‘unacceptable’

The Biden administration faced swift criticism on Friday after it was reported that it would no longer raise the United States’ refugee cap from the historic low set by the Trump administration.

Rather than stick to its pledge to welcome more than 60,000 refugees, rather than the 15,000 maximum set by former President Donald Trump, the White House will instead keep the target of refugee admissions at the lower level. Democrats and advocacy groups condemned the news as “cruel” and “unacceptable,” and noted that the Biden administration was using the same justification that Trump did.

Reuters reports the decision “appears to have been tied to concerns over the optics of admitting more refugees at a time of rising numbers of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months.” An official reportedly told Reuters the administration doesn’t want to look too “soft” or “too open.” Though officials are reportedly arguing that migrants seeking asylum have overwhelmed the system, “refugees are processed differently in the U.S. immigration system than asylum seekers,” writes Reuters.

While the administration took heat from many angles, it found support from former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, who was the architect of many of the Trump administration’s harshest immigration policies, including the all-time-lowest refugee cap. Miller argued it made sense and said the refugee cap should actually “be reduced to ZERO.”

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