House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urged President Joe Biden on Thursday to accept more refugees into the United States, claiming that America has a “moral responsibility” to do so.
Pelosi told reporters during a press conference at the Capitol, “We have a moral responsibility in the world — as every other country does, too — to receive refugees who have a well-founded fear of persecution or harm [if they] return to their own country.”
Shortly after his inauguration, Biden promised to restore the “badly damaged” refugee resettlement program. During fiscal year 2016, America accepted at least 85,000 refugees. Trump, during his administration, cut the number down to 15,000. Since Biden has not signed a presidential determination for refugee admissions in 2021, Trump’s lower refugee figure will stay in place.
Biden has promised to bring the refugee cap up to 125,000 by October 1.
However, his delay in lifting the cap has received criticism from Democrats.
“We have to recognize our moral responsibility, as we see other countries take in refugees. I think right now we have — well, it’s a very few thousand. And we have to increase that number,” Pelosi said.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said, “I am disappointed that President Biden has yet to officially increase the refugee admissions target.”
“I am disappointed that President Biden has yet to officially increase the refugee admissions target.” –@RepZoeLofgren
“There is no justification to delay providing safe haven for these refugees, who have already been vetted and approved to come to the United States.” https://t.co/f5Lu36ixwG
— Laura Lynch (@LLynch1) April 15, 2021
“There is no justification to delay providing safe haven for these refugees who have already been vetted and approved to come to the United States,” she added.
CNN reported Thursday that Biden has resisted calls to lift the refugee program cap due to the political optics of raising the refugee cap while the southern border faces a migrant crisis.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said, “The refugee issue is pretty bleak right now. We need realistic numbers. These are people who come to our country in an orderly way. … In a way, it is part of an overall strategy to prevent the unpredictable flow. The numbers are important to get at a realistic level.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.