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STATEMENT: CAP Responds to President Biden’s Failure To Raise Refugee Admissions

Washington, D.C. — Today, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to speed up refugee admissions into the United States, while leaving in place the historically low fiscal year 2021 admissions goal of 15,000 refugees set by the previous administration.

Mara Rudman, executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

This morning, former President George W. Bush published an op-ed in the Washington Post laying out a vision for immigration policy. He states, “We should never forget that the desire to live in the United States…is an affirmation of our country and what we stand for.” The United States is at its best a beacon of freedom for those facing persecution around the world, setting the standard for refugee resettlement that the rest of the world watches and emulates. In this light, we are disappointed by the Biden administration’s reticence to follow through on its commitment to raise the admission levels immediately, instead maintaining the previous administration’s record-low admissions cap. We hope this action will be reversed, even as we appreciate the effort to end the discriminatory admissions categories that left vulnerable refugees in limbo.

As President Bush writes, immigration is “a great and defining asset of the United States.” We urge President Biden, as he works to undo the cruel policies of his predecessor, to reclaim America’s standing in the world as a leader in refugee resettlement.

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