Biden to Allow Tens of Thousands More Refugees Into the Country

"Unloading Second Refugee Bus B" (CC BY 2.0) by Gustavo Montes de Oca

President Biden is expected to sign an Executive Order increasing the number of refugees allowed to enter the country by tens of thousands. 

The President must approve the cap on refugees that can be allowed in the country. During the previous administration, former President Trump had kept the numbers relatively low with a top-level of 15,000 refugees in 2021. However, during the campaign period, Biden promised to raise this cap from 15,000 to 125,000. 

According to CNN, as a part of Biden’s administration’s move to increase the number of refugees that will be allowed into the country, Biden intends to sign the Executive order as soon as Friday. 

In relation to this, the President has already signaled to migrants south of the United States in countries such as Honduras that his administration plans to relax the immigration laws. The same message was sent in mid-January before Biden was inaugurated.

Biden’s transition team attempted to send a message to tens of thousands of migrants traveling north through Central America. Said migrants traveled to this part of the country in anticipation of President Biden loosening the immigration laws on the United States’ southern border. 

Meanwhile, The Daily Wire reported that the transition team of Biden is warning thousands of immigrants from Honduras flocking the U.S. border “that they may end up waiting in Mexico for a while before their asylum claims can be processed,” as they flock the U.S. border seeking entry. 

An official of Biden’s transition team told NBC News that the Biden administration would prioritize immigrants who have already filed claims and are currently staying just across the border in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocol of the Trump administration. The MPP required migrants to stay in northern Mexico while their claims are still being processed in the United States. 

On the other hand, an anonymous Biden team official told NBC News, “The situation at the border isn’t going to be transformed overnight. There’s help on the way, but now is not the time to make the journey.”

The official added, “We have to provide a message that help and hope are on the way, but coming right now does not make sense for their own safety … while we put into place processes that they may be able to access in the future.”

On top of President Biden’s plan to increase the number of refugees into the country, the Biden administration is also pushing to give citizenship to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already staying in the United States. However, this plan suffered strong resistance in Congress from Democrats, whose votes are required because of the Democratic Party’s slim margins of authority in the House and Senate.

Last week, the Biden administration issued an order to stop deportations of illegal immigrants in the United States. However, on Tuesday, a federal judge in Texas blocked said order over procedural violations. 

In connection with Biden’s order, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also sued the federal government, arguing that the deportation freeze violated an agreement between Texas and the federal government and that Biden’s order itself would harm the state.

Paxton said in a statement, “In one of its first of dozens of steps that harm Texas and the nation as a whole, the Biden administration directed DHS to violate federal immigration law and breach an agreement to consult and cooperate with Texas on that law.” He continued, “our state defends the largest section of the southern border in the nation. Failure to properly enforce the law will directly and immediately endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel.” 

Paxton also added that DHS itself previously acknowledged that freeze on deportations would cause concrete injuries to Texas. HE said, “I am confident that these unlawful and perilous actions cannot stand. The rule of law and security of our citizens must prevail.”