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President Joe Biden announced Thursday he plans to increase the cap on the number of refugees allowed into the US after his predecessor Donald Trump slashed it dramatically while in office.
Biden aims to raise the refugee cap to 125,000 — a stark rise from Trump’s 15,000 refugee limit last year — starting Oct. 1, according to The Washington Post.
“I’m approving an executive order to begin the hard work of restoring our refugee admissions program to help meet the unprecedented global need,” the president said in a speech at the State Department. “It’s going to take time to rebuild what has been so badly damaged.”
Biden would have to consult with Congress before setting the annual limit.
Refugee aid organizations praised Biden’s decision.
“With 80 million forcibly displaced people worldwide and counting — the largest number since the Second World War — restoring the US’ longstanding and bipartisan resettlement program is absolutely critical,” Hans van de Weerd, vice president for resettlement, asylum and integration at the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement.
“The US needs to fix its own reputation and incentivize other rich countries by welcoming refugees in greater numbers, after record lows during the Trump administration,” he continued.