TEHRAN (Iran News) – Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has condemned “shameful” US President Joe Biden for reneging on his refugee promise and keeping in place the former Trump administration’s cap on refugee admissions for fiscal year 2021.
Omar and few other lawmakers on Friday urged Biden in a letter to raise the Trump-era cap of 15,000 to 62,500, which the Biden administration 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,” the Muslim congresswoman tweeted, referencing Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) who joined her in writing Friday’s letter.
Omar had arrived in the United States as a refugee from Somalia as a child.
The White House announced that it would be keeping the refugee cap at 15,000 for the fiscal year, despite the fact that Biden has advocated to raise the number of refugees America accepts to 125,000.
However, White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed in a press conference on Thursday that he “remains committed to raising the refugee cap.”
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) also denounced Biden’s reversal and called 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 on Friday. “Keep your promise.”
Meanwhile, Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said in a statement that “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,” she added.
President Biden vowed to unwind many of the immigration policies of Trump when he assumed office on Jan. 20, saying he would erase what he has called “a moral and national shame” inherited from Trump. But he has reneged on many of his promises after assuming the office.
Biden is also under fire now over the growing humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border, where an influx of refugee fleeing violence and economic hardship in Central and South America.
The White House is, in particular, wrestling with reports about conditions in overcrowded detention centers for unaccompanied immigrant children.
More than 10-thousand kids, including many of those forcibly separated from their parents, are now in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services as US officials are struggling to process them.