President-elect Joe Biden has already asserted that he plans to issue a wide range of executive orders to change Trump-era policies once he gets into office, and now he has indicated that he plans on drastically changing the country’s attitude towards refugees during his presidency.
In 2016, President Barack Obama set the limit on refugees allowed into the country at 110,000, while Trump has lowered the cap on refugee admissions every year. For the year of 2020, the cap is at a record low of 15,000.
According to NPR, Biden plans to “set the annual global refugee admissions cap to 125,000, and seek to raise it over time.”
Becca Heller, executive director of the International Refugee Assistance Project, said that the increased cap will send a message that refugees are welcome in the country.
NEW — President-elect Biden is set to start reversing Pres. Trump's immigration legacy.
— Camilo Montoya-Galvez (@camiloreports) November 11, 2020
“The point is not to hit 125,000 — the point is to signal both to the rest of the world and also to the domestic population in our own government that this is a priority again. It’s less relevant if we hit the exact number and more relevant that we say, ‘Admitting refugees is really important. We are going to aim at this high number and invest in infrastructure and get as close as we can,’ ” Heller said.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Biden on the campaign trail for his immigration stance, and has told his supporters that his opponent planned to flood the country with refugees, and turn midwestern states into refugee camps.
Biden reportedly plans to implement a 100-day deportations moratorium and restrict who can be arrested and deported by ICE.
A source familiar with Biden’s plans said new guidance would be designed to curb so-called “collateral arrests.”
The incoming Biden administration also hopes to reinstate an Obama-era program that allowed at-risk children in Central America to request refugee or parole status and reunite with their parents in the US.
Although Joe Biden won’t push to dismantle President Trump’s physical legacy, he will undo sharp curbs on refugee admissions and a host of other immigration policies put in place through executive order. https://t.co/gnpOSa6XP4
— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) November 11, 2020
He also intends to repeal the travel ban that the Trump administration put on many Muslim-majority countries. He will also reinstate the “dreamers” program, which allows immigrants who have been in the country since they were children to stay regardless of their immigration status.
Biden’s team is also promising to begin the process of terminating the “public charge” rules that the Trump administration implemented to deny green cards and immigrant visas to applicants who US authorities determine might rely on government assistance in the future, which effectively rules out applicants that aren’t already wealthy.
In addition to executive orders on immigration, Biden also plans to send gun control bills to congress, and attempt to reverse Trump-era tax cuts. He also plans to immediately reverse Trump’s rollback of 100 public health and environmental rules.
Biden will also be taking a very different approach to the pandemic than Trump had. Biden has promised to set up a coronavirus task force immediately. The task force will reportedly be co-chaired by former surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy and David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner. He also plans on rejoining the Paris climate accords, as well as the World Health Organization, both of which the Trump Administration withdrew from.