Fri | Dec 1, 2023

More refugees to come from Latin America, Caribbean under Biden’s new 125,000 refugee cap

Published:Friday | September 29, 2023 | 9:28 PM
People line up against a border wall as they wait to apply for asylum after crossing the border from Mexico. Tuesday, July 11, 2023, near Yuma, Arizona. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

As the number of migrants coming to the United States' southern border is climbing, the Biden administration aims to admit more refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean over the next year.

The White House Friday released the targets for how many refugees it aims to admit over the next fiscal year starting October 1 and from what regions of the world.

The total is 125,000 — the same as this year.

But in a significant shift, the administration said it aims to admit 35,000 to 50,000 refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean compared to this year's goal of 15,000.

Concurrently, the number of refugees it aims to admit from Europe and Central Asia went down from 15,000 to between 2,000 to 3,000 in the coming year.

The administration also got rid of an “unallocated reserve” from previous years that allowed it to set aside some slots and use them in any region.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the world is facing an “unprecedented global displacement crisis in which record numbers of people have been forced to flee war, persecution, and instability.”

He said in addition to expanding efforts to resettle refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean the U.S. was also focused on helping “key populations of concern” such as Afghans who helped the US war effort, human rights advocates and other groups.

The decision on next year's refugee cap comes as the US is seeing unprecedented numbers of migrants coming to the southern border, many hoping to seek asylum in the US.

The administration has been under intense pressure from fellow Democrats to deal with the issue while also being hammered by Republicans who allege the administration has done little to secure the border.

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