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Omar: 'Shameful' Biden reneging on refugee promise

Omar: 'Shameful' Biden reneging on refugee promise
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarFree Speech Inc.: The Democratic Party finds a new but shaky faith in corporate free speech Schumer works to balance a divided caucus's demands White House raises refugee cap to 62,500 MORE (D-Minn.) tore into President BidenJoe BidenDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Sasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE Friday after he kept in place the Trump administration’s cap on refugee admissions for fiscal 2021.

Omar, who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia as a child, had pushed Biden in a letter earlier in the day to raise the Trump-era cap of 15,000 to 62,500, which the White House had proposed to Congress earlier this year.

“As a refugee, I know finding a home is a matter of life or death for children around the world. It is shameful that @POTUS is reneging on a key promise to welcome refugees, moments after @RepSchakowsky @RepJayapal, myself and others called on him to increase the refugee cap,” she tweeted, referencing Reps. Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyBattle lines drawn over Biden's support for vaccine waivers Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states Pressure builds for Biden to back vaccine patent waivers MORE (D-Ill.) and Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalNurses union lobbies Congress on health care bills during National Nurses Week White House raises refugee cap to 62,500 The Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' MORE (D-Wash.) who joined her in spearheading Friday’s letter. 

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The rebuke came just after the White House announced that it would be keeping the refugee cap at 15,000 for the fiscal year, reversing a promise Biden had made earlier.

The executive order Biden will sign will also speed up refugee admissions and open up slots to refugees from places like Africa and the Middle East that had been excluded by then-President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE.

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Biden has advocated over time to raise the number of refugees the U.S. accepts to 125,000. White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiRepublicans attack Biden agenda after disappointing jobs report Biden 'confident' meeting with Putin will take place soon Sinema urges Biden to take 'bold' action at border: 'This is a crisis' MORE told reporters on Thursday that he “remains committed to raising the refugee cap.”

Still, Democrats seized on Biden’s Friday announcement, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBattle lines drawn over Biden's support for vaccine waivers Overnight Energy: Update on Biden administration conservation goals | GOP sees opportunity to knock Biden amid rising gas prices | Push for nationwide electric vehicle charging stations The Memo: The GOP's war is already over — Trump won MORE (N.Y.) calling it “utterly unacceptable.”

“Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and people voted for him based on that promise. Upholding the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump admin, incl the historically low + plummeted refugee cap, is flat out wrong,” she tweeted. “Keep your promise.” 

“By failing to sign an Emergency Presidential Determination to lift Trump’s historically low refugee cap, President Biden has broken his promise to restore our humanity. We cannot turn our back on refugees around the world, including hundreds of refugees who have already been cleared for resettlement, have sold their belongings, and are ready to board flights,” Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSix House Democrats ask Garland to review case of lawyer placed under house arrest over Chevron suit OSHA sends draft emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 to OMB review Imperative that Democrats figure out what went wrong in 2020 MORE (D-Mich.) said in a statement.