The US admitted simply 11,411 refugees over the 12-month interval ending Sept. 30, a file low regardless of President Biden elevating the utmost quantity allowed to 62,500 in May.
The quantity, made public by the State Department Tuesday, is greater than 400 fewer than the earlier low of 11,814, set in fiscal 12 months 2020.
The quantity doesn’t embody a minimum of 50,000 Afghans who’ve been flown into the US in current weeks following the reconquest of Afghanistan by the Taliban. Those Afghans have been allowed into the nation underneath a special authorized standing referred to as “humanitarian parole.”
The White House has requested Congress to alter immigration legislation to permit Afghans dropped at the US on humanitarian parole to obtain the identical advantages as refugees — together with authorities advantages and computerized qualification for a inexperienced card after 12 months.
The State Department defined the low refugee determine by citing the restrictive eligibility standards enacted by the Trump administration, in addition to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic — which they stated prevented case officers from conducting in-person interviews of potential refugees abroad.
The Department added that it’s planning a “robust resumption of interviews,” each in-person and nearly, and has requested extra referrals from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
“The rebuilding process is well underway and will enable us to support much increased admissions numbers in future years,” the division stated in an e-mail to the Associated Press.
Last month, the State Department knowledgeable Congress that Biden would enhance the so-called “refugee cap” to 125,000 for the fiscal 12 months which started Oct. 1. In the identical report, the division estimated that simply 12,500 official refugees have been anticipated to reach within the US in fiscal 12 months 2021, with practically two-thirds of that complete coming from Africa.
Beginning this month, the report indicated, the US would settle for as much as 40,000 refugees from Africa, together with 35,000 from the Near East and South Asia — together with Afghanistan — and 15,000 every from East Asia and the Latin America/Caribbean area.
In April, Biden had indicated he wouldn’t override the 15,000-person cap set by his predecessor anytime this 12 months, saying in an emergency willpower that it “remains justified by humanitarian concerns and is otherwise in the national interest.”
After Biden was criticized by members of his personal celebration, the White House rapidly reversed course and raised the cap to 62,500 on May 3, although Biden stated on the time that he didn’t count on the U.S. would meet the brand new quantity with simply 4 months left within the fiscal 12 months.