U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Monday reacted to President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s expansion of the refugee admissions cap for this year from the 15,000 left by former President Donald J. Trump to 62,500, saying “a robust refugee admissions program is not only critical to U.S. foreign policy interests and national security objectives, it is a reflection of core American values.”
“As part of addressing the broader migration crises around the world, our refugee admissions program must be restored so that those fleeing persecution can enter the United States,” Blinken said in a statement.
He wrote: “Today, the President affirmed the United States’ commitment to humanitarian values by issuing an Emergency Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions that raises the refugee admissions ceiling to 62,500 for Fiscal Year 2021. Together with the April 16 Emergency Presidential Determination that made U.S. resettlement available to more refugees from all regions of the world based on vulnerability, this Emergency Presidential Determination reflects the urgent, global nature of the refugee crisis and the part the United States will play by permitting more eligible refugees to be admitted to the United States.
“In my consultations with Members of Congress, I underscored the President’s commitment to welcoming refugees and ensuring that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program resettles those most in need of protection, in line with our long tradition of offering hope and safe haven to persons fleeing persecution, without discrimination. We have already started rebuilding the infrastructure of the program and will continue our close partnership with domestic resettlement partners while launching new, innovative initiatives like community and private sponsorship.
“A robust refugee admissions program is not only critical to U.S. foreign policy interests and national security objectives, it is a reflection of core American values. As part of addressing the broader migration crises around the world, our refugee admissions program must be restored so that those fleeing persecution can enter the United States. The United States can and will protect its national security, including by ensuring the integrity of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, while championing the principle that our country benefits from welcoming refugees and celebrating their tremendous contributions. The United States continues to be a global leader in supporting refugees. In Fiscal Year 2020 alone, we provided more than $10.5 billion in humanitarian assistance, including assistance for refugees. It is in our DNA as a nation to open our door to those seeking refuge, and it remains in our national interest to treat individuals applying for these programs fairly and with dignity and respect.”