Sullivan: White House ‘absolutely committed’ to raising refugee cap
President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, confirmed that the U.S. would raise the cap on refugees allowed to enter the U.S. on Sunday but would not specify what target number the administration would aim for.
Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Sullivan told host Chris Wallace that Biden was “absolutely committed” to both making the U.S. a welcoming country for all refugees as well as lifting the limit on the number of refugees admitted.
“He is absolutely committed to making sure that America is not only welcoming to refugees…but also that we raise the cap. He is committed to that and we are following through on that,” Sullivan said.
Lifting the policies essentially banning refugees from parts of Africa and the Middle East was the “first step” in that plan, Sullivan contended, while raising the cap was the “second step” and would come in the weeks ahead.
“He took the first step this past week, he will take the second in the weeks ahead,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan’s comments come after a controversy hit the White House on Friday when the administration announced that it would reverse course and lift the Trump administration’s lowered refugee caps after initially stating in a directive from the president that it would remain at 15,000, far lower than Biden’s campaign’s promise of more than 120,000 and the administration’s vow in February to set the target at more than 60,000 for this year.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that the administration would set a new cap in May.
“For the past few weeks, he has been consulting with his advisors to determine what number of refugees could realistically be admitted to the United States between now and October 1. Given the decimated refugee admissions program we inherited, and burdens on the Office of Refugee Resettlement, his initial goal of 62,500 seems unlikely,” she said on Friday.
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