Pro-migration Democrats and business allies got President Biden to overrule an announcement by his top staff Friday that would have capped the refugee inflow to 15,000 in 2021.
“The President’s directive today has been the subject of some confusion,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in an afternoon statement. “We expect the President to set a final, increased refugee cap for the remainder of this fiscal year by May 15,” she added.
The Psaki announcement came a few hours after Jake Sullivan, Biden’s National Security Advisor, tweeted:
The final 2021 number will be released on May 15. Pro-migration groups are hopeful that Biden will announce a goal of importing several tens of thousands of refugees before October, up from the 15,000 scheduled by former President Trump.
The Washington Post reported Friday:
Late Friday, White House officials held a call with refugee advocates, during which deputy national security adviser Jon Finer said the cap would likely be lifted well before May 15, according to two people on the call. Finer also said that the administration would try to resettle refugees as soon as possible, rather than spreading out the admissions until Sept. 30, the people said. White House officials plan to hold another meeting with advocates next week, people with knowledge of the plans said.
Biden’s swift reversal came after backlash from pro-migration advocates, including senior Democrats, far-left advocates, and business groups.
The morning statement setting the 15,000 level was slammed by Democrats, including Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). “This is unacceptable,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, (D-IL), the second-ranking Democrat Senator.
Por-migration advocates, including the FWD.us group funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, backed up politician’s protests.
“We strongly urge President Biden to reverse this decision and commit to his prior promises to rebuild America’s refugee program,” said a quick statement from the FWD.us group, which supports almost any increased inflow of workers, consumers, and renters into the American economy.
The statement by the wealthy investors suggesting Biden overrule his deputies:
At some of our best moments, America has been a beacon of hope and a nation that actively seeks to welcome those seeking refuge—and at some of our worst, we turned our back on those very people in their time of greatest need … today’s decision is not only morally wrong but will make the forced migration situation from Central America worse.
We strongly urge President Biden to reverse this decision and commit to his prior promises to rebuild America’s refugee program.
The leading funder and advocate for more migration into America’s communities and workplaces is the Zuckerberg group. Other like-minded groups that have received funds from Zuckerberg joined in the backlash.
“Biden should revisit” the decision, said a tweet from Frank Sharry at the Zuckerberg-funded America’s Voice group. “This refugee decision [reeks] of politics. If that’s true, then it’s an unforced political error,” Sharry said in another tweet.
“This decision is bullshit,” Sharry continued in another tweet.
The National Immigration Forum, another recipient of Zuckerberg funds, joined in slamming the 15,000 announcement, saying:
On the day the Biden administration decides to maintain refugee resettlement historic lows, I think about the Afghans who helped our military and what they must be thinking.
Pro-migration advocates celebrated when Biden reversed the staff’s 15,000 decision late on Friday.
The reversal from Biden will likely worsen public worries about his immigration policies.
A White House official told the New York Times that the lower goal of 15,000 was picked because of public opposition to the border chaos:
A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the decision-making, said the administration grew concerned that the surge of border crossings by unaccompanied minors was too much and had already overwhelmed the refugee branch of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Washington Post reported April 16:
People close to the White House’s decision-making have said they detected political concerns about expanding the refugee program at a moment when there is increasing pressure on Biden to be tougher on immigration and border security. Biden is dealing with a surge in the number of migrants arriving on the southern border, which has caused policy and political worries about immigration inside the White House, according to people with knowledge of the situation.