The Biden administration wants to nearly double the number of refugees who will be admitted to the United States in the next fiscal year, beginning October 1, to 125,000, in order to keep its campaign commitment, according to a statement issued by the State Department.
US President Joe Biden had promised to overthrow the policy of his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, who had reduced the number of refugees admitted each year to just 15,000, the lowest in the history of the modern refugee program. Biden had initially left that number, but backed down in the face of criticism.
The State Department will consult with the Department of Homeland Security and Congress to increase that number, which was set at 62,500 for fiscal year 2020, which expires this month.
The announcement comes at a time when tens of thousands of Afghan refugees are at US military bases waiting to settle in the United States. Many were left behind in Afghanistan, amid the chaos created in the last days of the withdrawal of American forces from the country.