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Refugee resettlements tripled in May for the highest total in 2021 as Biden rebuilds admissions program

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 08 Jun 2021


<p><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/60be7400e459cb0018a2c880-2400/AP21135708578706.jpg" border="0" alt="AP21135708578706" data-mce-source="AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File" data-mce-caption="In this Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, file photo, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas looks on as President Joe Biden signs an executive order on immigration, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Biden, under political pressure, agreed to admit four times as many refugees this budget year as his predecessor did, but resettlement agencies concede the number actually allowed into the U.S. will be closer to the record-low cap of 15,000 set by former President Donald Trump."></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>After an exceptionally slow start, the United States under President Joe Biden is finally beginning to accept more refugees, with the number resettled last month more than tripling compared to the month before.</p><p>Refugee admissions had previously declined each month of Biden's presidency, despite the new administration's pledge to rebuild a resettlement program that had been gutted by its predecessor. As Insider reported, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-administration-resettles-fewer-than-300-refugees-in-april-2021-5">just 272 refugees</a> were admitted in April, putting the US on track to accept the fewest number of displaced people since the resettlement program was created in 1980.</p><p>But <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/inside-look-how-us-is-rebuilding-its-refugee-program-2021-5">in interviews</a>, officials at US refugee resettlement agencies said there were real signs the Biden administration was indeed working to build back the capacity to accept far more people fleeing war and political repression.</p><p>That's beginning to show up in the numbers.</p><p>According to the latest figures from the State Department, released Monday, 915 refugees were admitted in May. That's the highest number since the 2021 fiscal year began last October.</p><p>Overall, though, the US has resettled just 3,250 refugees this fiscal year, putting it on track to accept even fewer refugees than it did in 2020, when fewer than 12,000 were admitted, an historic low. After <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/white-house-says-will-revisit-this-years-cap-refugee-admissions-2021-4">some waffling</a>, Biden set this year's admissions cap at 62,500, with a goal of resettling <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-calls-for-accepting-as-many-as-125000-refugees-year-2021-2">as many as 125,000</a> in his first full year in office.</p><p><em>Have a news tip' Email this reporter: <a href="mailto:cdavis@insider.com">cdavis@insider.com</a></em></p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/refugee-resettlements-triple-in-may-for-highest-total-in-2021-2021-6#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/scorpion-venom-most-expensive-liquid-in-the-world-2018-8">Why scorpion venom is the most expensive liquid in the world</a></p>
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