President Joe Biden announced plans on Thursday to raise the yearly cap on refugees accepted into the country to 125,000 — more than eight times the number accepted last year under President Trump.
Biden made the announcement alongside issuing an executive order intended to rebuild and enhance the nation's refugee resettlement program, which he argued was left in tatters by the previous administration.
"Today, I'm approving an executive order to begin the hard work of restoring our refugee admissions program to help meet the unprecedented global need," he said. "It's going to take time to rebuild what has been so badly damaged, but that's precisely what we're going to do."
"This executive order will position us to be able to raise the refugee admissions back up to 125,000 persons for the first full fiscal year of the Biden-Harris administration," he added.
Under President Trump in fiscal year 2020, the cap on yearly refugee admissions was 15,000.
President Joe Biden: "I'm approving an executive order to begin the hard work of restoring our refugee admissions p… https://t.co/ZMO8IgZyBY— The Hill (@The Hill)1612470638.0
The order is just the latest in a string of recent initiatives related to immigration pushed by the new administration. Since assuming the presidency, Biden has made it a priority to reverse course from Trump, who during his four years in office sought to serve America's interests by reining in the open-door immigration policy embraced by modern Democrat politicians.
Last June, on World Refugee Day, Biden released a statement condemning Trump's stance on immigration, saying, "Fear-mongering, xenophobia, and racism are the unabashed tenets of Trump's refugee and immigration policy."
Then in November, Biden declared, "It is not enough to simply reverse or dismantle the heartless policies of the Trump administration," adding, "We need to look for ways to do better."
According to a report from the United Nations refugee agency, only approximately 23,000 refugees were accepted across the globe last year despite there being "an estimated 1.44 million refugees in urgent need of resettlement." More than half of the refugees accepted were admitted by the United States, according to the State Department. Nevertheless, Trump has continually been criticized by the left for restricting admission in recent years.
It should be noted that according to an analysis published by the Center for Immigration Studies last year, the average refugee costs U.S. taxpayers between $60,000 and $133,000 over the course of the refugee's life.