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President Biden signed a new order this week to increase the number of refugee admissions from just 15,000 a year to 125,000, beginning in October.
In a speech at the State Department Thursday, Biden said the US refugee program had suffered under former President Trump. “The United States’ moral leadership on refugee issues was a point of bipartisan consensus for so many decades,” he said. “It’s going to take time to rebuild what has been so badly damaged.”
Biden’s executive order will allow for his State Deparment to begin increasing refugee admissions in the months before October.
The refugee issue has become increasingly polarizing in recent years. Following the Paris terror attacks in 2015 in which islamic terrorist suicide bombers killed 130 people, security concerns about who the U.S. allows in its country have grown considerably.
Republicans argue that refugees place unnecessary and unfair financial and safety burdens on individual communities.
In 2015, amid concerns about the integration of Syrian refugees into America, 29 Republican governors, along with one Democratic Governor, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan, objected to the Obama administration’s decision to drop-off refugee populations in towns and cities across America.
The Iowa governor, Terry Branstad, said at that time that, “Until a thorough and thoughtful review is conducted by the intelligence community and the safety of Iowans can be assured, the federal government should not resettle any Syrian refugees in Iowa.”
In 2019, President Trump issued an executive order to enable state and local governments from having a say in whether refugees are “dropped-off” in their communities.
Biden’s executive order, however, is a direct reversal of President Trump’s refugee policy.
Legal advocacy groups, including the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) out of New York, are cheering President Biden’s new refugee policy stating that the order, “represents an important first step towards rebuilding the refugee program.”