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Politics Omar: 'Shameful' Biden reneging on refugee promise

22:50  16 april  2021
22:50  16 april  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tore into President Biden Friday after he kept in place the former Trump administration's cap on refugee admissions for fiscal year 2021.

a person wearing a costume: Omar: 'Shameful' Biden reneging on refugee promise © Greg Nash Omar: 'Shameful' Biden reneging on refugee promise

Omar, who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia as a child, had pushed Biden in a letter earlier in the day to raise the Trump-era cap of 15,000 to 62,500, which the White House had proposed to Congress earlier this year.

"As a refugee, I know finding a home is a matter of life or death for children around the world. It is shameful that @POTUS is reneging on a key promise to welcome refugees, moments after @RepSchakowsky @RepJayapal, myself and others called on him to increase the refugee cap," she tweeted, referencing Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) who joined her in spearheading Friday's letter.

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The rebuke came just after the White House announced that it would be keeping the refugee cap at 15,000 for the fiscal year, reversing a promise Biden had made earlier.

The executive order Biden will sign will also speed up refugee admissions and open up slots to refugees from places like Africa and the Middle East that had been excluded by then-President Trump.

Biden has advocated over time to raise the number of refugees the U.S. accepts to 125,000. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday that he "remains committed to raising the refugee cap."

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Still, Democrats seized on Biden's Friday announcement, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) calling it "utterly unacceptable."

"Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and people voted for him based on that promise. Upholding the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump admin, incl the historically low + plummeted refugee cap, is flat out wrong," she tweeted. "Keep your promise."

"By failing to sign an Emergency Presidential Determination to lift Trump's historically low refugee cap, President Biden has broken his promise to restore our humanity. We cannot turn our back on refugees around the world, including hundreds of refugees who have already been cleared for resettlement, have sold their belongings, and are ready to board flights," Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said in a statement.

Biden says administration will raise refugee cap in first comments after Friday's back and forth .
President Joe Biden said Saturday his administration will increase the refugee cap after a back and forth on Friday where the administration first announced it would keep the cap at the historically low level set by former President Donald Trump, before reversing course after facing blowback from refugee advocacy groups and Democrats in Congress. © Andrew Harnik/AP FILE - In this April 15, 2021, file photo President Joe Biden speaks about Russia in the East Room of the White House in Washington. In recent days, Biden has piled new sanctions on Russia, announced he would withdraw all U.S.

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