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Biden Raising Refugee Cap to 125,000 After Trump’s Dramatic Cuts

Biden's increase will take effect later this year, and will set the cap higher than it ever was under former President Barack Obama.

Deanna Garcia

Feb 05, 2021

Central American migrants crossing the Suchiate River between the Guatemalan and Mexican border. Photo: Oliver de Ros

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President Joe Biden announced Thursday that will soon sign an executive order to begin raising the refugee admissions cap up to 125,000 refugees. In a speech at the State Department, he said the increase would come during his administration’s first fiscal year, which means it will start Oct. 1, 2021. “It’s going to take time to rebuild what has been so badly damaged. But that’s precisely what we’re going to do,” Biden said, acknowledging how former President Donald Trump whittled away at the U.S.’s immigration infrastructure. Biden’s cap is higher than in former President Barack Obama’s last year, when he set the cap at 110,000. Trump meanwhile decreased the cap to 15,000 refugees during 2020-21. The Associated Press

HHS Building Migrant Children Overflow Facility

The Biden administration is preparing to build an overflow facility to detain additional unaccompanied migrant children seized at the U.S.–Mexico border. The Health and Human Services Department will reopen a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, that will shelter about 700 children and can be expanded. The administration credited the reopening to the increase in apprehensions of unaccompanied children at the Southwest border. Unaccompanied children who cross the border are taken into Department of Homeland Security custody and directed to HHS. If placed in care, case managers will work to place a child with a sponsor in the U.S., such as a parent or relative. About 4,730 children are in the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s care as of Thursday. CNN Politics 

Supreme Court Holds Off on Border Wall and Asylum Cases

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court agreed with the Biden administration to hold off on hearing arguments in two cases involving the U.S.–Mexico border wall and asylum seekers while Biden revamps Trump administration policies that were challenged in court. The court had scheduled Feb. 22 to hear arguments regarding former Trump’s decision to put billions of dollars in taxpayer money toward the construction of parts of the border wall. On March 1, the court also planned to hear arguments regarding the Trump policy that forced asylum seekers to wait for U.S. court hearings in Mexico. The Associated Press 



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