Joe Biden declared that he plans to vastly increase the number of annual refugees admitted into the United States. Under the Trump administration, the maximum number of refugees permitted in the U.S. per year is 15,000. Biden pledged that he will dramatically raise that number to 125,000.
Biden made the declaration in a prerecorded video created for a virtual celebration of the 40th anniversary of Jesuit Refugee Service.
"The United States has long stood as a beacon of hope for the downtrodden and the oppressed, a leader of resettling refugees in our humanitarian response," Biden said on Thursday, as reported by the Religion News Service. "I promise, as president, I will reclaim that proud legacy for our country."
"The Biden-Harris administration will restore America's historic role in protecting the vulnerable and defending the rights of refugees everywhere and raising our annual refugee admission target to 125,000," Biden announced.
In June, Biden released a statement on World Refugee Day, in which he said, "Fear-mongering, xenophobia, and racism are the unabashed tenets of Trump's refugee and immigration policy,"
"I also recognize that it is not enough to simply reverse or dismantle the heartless policies of the Trump Administration," the former vice president stated. "We need to look for ways to do better.
"As President, I will increase the number of refugees we welcome into this country, setting an annual global refugee target of 125,000," said Biden, who then hinted that he could raise that amount. "And will seek to further raise it over time commensurate with our responsibility, our values, and the unprecedented global need."
Biden added, "I will repeal the Muslim ban — and other discriminatory bans based on ethnicity and nationality — and restore asylum laws, including ending the horrific practice of separating families at our border."
In October, President Donald Trump released a memo that read, "The admission of up to 15,000 refugees to the United States during FY 2021 is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest."
A study released earlier this year claimed that refugees cost American taxpayers as much as $133,000 over the course of their lives.