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Biden Administration Uses Only 20% of Available Refugee Spots

Oct 4, 2022

The Biden administration resettled 25,000 refugees in fiscal year 2022, falling 80% short of the 125,000 available refugee spots, according to a new report from CBS News.

This year’s tally is more than double the number of refugee admissions in 2021, which saw a record low of 11,411 refugees. It also does not include at least 130,000 Afghans and Ukrainians who entered the U.S. under humanitarian parole, a program that grants temporary legal status to foreigners.

President Biden signed an executive order last year to expand the U.S. refugee program, which was gutted by the Trump administration. In 2020, former President Trump reduced the refugee cap to 15,000.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) interviewed 44,000 refugees during FY 2022, a nearly 400% increase from 2021, when 9,100 refugees were interviewed, according to CBS News. The figure remains below the annual historic average of 65,000 interviews,

The Biden administration announced last week it would once again allow up to 125,000 refugees in fiscal year 2023.

“We are going to do everything in our power to welcome as many refugees as we can this year, recognizing that 125,000 remains a very ambitious target and it will take some time to get there,” Deputy Assistant State Department Secretary Sarah Cross told CBS News. “But we are very optimistic that we’re going to reach much higher levels than this year.”

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