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Biden breaks promise on refugee admissions

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I’m generally pleased that Biden is trying to emulate FDR, but I didn’t mean he should include the “capitulating on civil rights issues” part:

President Biden will limit the number of refugees allowed into the United States this year to the historically low level set by the Trump administration, walking back an earlier promise to welcome more than 60,000 people fleeing war and persecution into the country.

President Biden in February committed to raising the cap of 15,000 refugees set by the prior administration. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken notified Congress on Feb. 12 that the administration planned to allow up to 62,500 refugees to enter the country in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

The reversal on Mr. Biden’s promise to welcome in thousands of families fleeing war and religious persecution signals the president’s hesitant approach to rebuilding an immigration system gutted by his predecessor. But the delay in officially designating the refugee admissions has already left hundreds of refugees cleared to travel to the United State stranded in camps around the world and infuriated resettlement agencies that accused Mr. Biden of breaking an earlier promise to restore the American reputation as a sanctuary for the oppressed.

A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the decision-making, said the administration grew concerned that the surge of border crossings by unaccompanied minors was too much and had already overwhelmed the refugee branch of the Department of Health and Human Services. But migrants at the border seeking asylum are processed in an entirely separate system than refugees fleeing persecution overseas.

I have no doubt that Miller and the rest of the Nazi faction of the Trump administration has created administrative obstacles. But that’s still not a good reason to preemptively refuse to even try to admit more refugees than Trump’s historically low limits, and the fact that Biden’s explanation is an incoherent non-sequitur doesn’t incline me to think that it’s logistically impossible to raise the cap.

Biden has learned from some of Obama’s mistakes, but here like Obama he seems to think that preemptive concessions to the right on immigration will help him politically. Not only is the policy bad on the merits but this will probably gain him exactly as much politically as it did Obama (i.e. nothing.)

…this is a very good piece explaining that the reason the administration hasn’t offered a good reason for the policy is that there isn’t one, either on the merits or politically. Announcing the intention to raise the cap and then quietly backing away is the worst of all worlds.

…This is a good thread:

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