Is Biden right to raise the refugee cap to 62,500?
- On January 20, 2021, President Biden terminated wall construction at the Southern Border. He also revoked Trump’s “Remain-in-Mexico” policy to reinstate “catch-and-release.”
- According to US Customs and Border Protection, the number of migrant apprehensions have been increasing for the last 10 years, and reached a high of 172,231 in March 2021.
- In an interview on Friday, March 31, on the TODAY show, Biden stated he had “gotten control” of the Southern border. His administration was telling certain countries to apply from their own homes to avoid putting their children in “jeopardy.”
- On Monday, May 3, 2021, Biden announced the revision of the annual refugee admission cap, changing the previous administration’s cap of 15,000 to 62,500. He stated, “the US Refugee Admissions Program embodies America’s commitment to protect the most vulnerable, and to stand as a beacon or liberty and refuge to the world.”
- The US Refugee Resettlement Program started in 1980 with a high of almost 240,000 admitted refugees. It dropped significantly over the following years and rose again to about 140,000 in the mid 90s. During Trump’s administration, the number of admissions dropped to an all time low of 15,000.
Many refugees choose to come to the United States because our values and laws are freeing, or at the very least, more liberating than their own country's. By raising the refugee cap, more refugees will be able to come to the United States and get aid. The benefits of being a refugee in the United States include entering the country legally, obtaining work, and qualifying for permanent residency. This ability to start a new life is what the American Dream promises—a happy life full of opportunities.
By raising the cap from 15,000 to 62,500, Biden is sending a message to all refugees and other countries that the United States is a country that wants to help, that we want to make lives better, and give everyone the freedom and justice we value. Raising the refugee cap is also going to work to reverse the 'racist immigrant policies' of the Trump administration.
When refugees choose to come to our country, it's not only a benefit for them. The US benefits from their entry into the workforce. When/if refugees choose to become citizens, we become a more diverse nation that can provide education, employment, and happiness to more people—immigration is what built America and will continue to aid our future growth. Research shows that 'by participating in the workforce and creating new jobs, refugees have raised the median income of many host countries.' This means our own citizens benefit from refugees coming to the US as well.
Biden is misguided in his attempt to appease his liberal base's demand to increase the number of refugees allowed entry to the US. Biden's proposed refugee limit for 2021 of 62,500 will equate to more than $52 billion of additional government spending on housing, transportation, and income assistance. This figure will double in 2022 as Biden plans to raise the refugee limit to 125,000 for next year. It's irresponsible to burden American taxpayers in the middle of a pandemic that has already cost millions of jobs and resulted in trillions of dollars of federal government deficit spending. Future generations will bear this additional refugee-related expense for years to come. By comparison, Canada (with approximately the same physical size as the US) accepted 30,000 refugees in 2020 (less than half of Biden's proposed limit for this year).
Aside from the financial burden of adding 62,500 refugees, Biden's decision to more than quintuple the refugee total allowed entry in 2020 flies in the face of his concern about getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control. How are Americans supposed to take Biden's exhortations seriously to mask up social distance and get vaccinated when he's throwing open the Southern border to 62,500 potential spreaders of the virus?
There is already an existing border crisis with illegal immigration at a 15-year high. Biden's plan to allow 62,500 additional refugees will overwhelm border control personnel who are already stretched thin by Biden's immigration policies. 80% of Americans believe the situation at the border rightfully is 'a crisis that needs to be addressed immediately.' It's difficult to envision a positive result from Biden's proposed increase of refugees.