Today, I am revising the annual limit for refugee admissions to the United States to 62,500 for this fiscal year. This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees. The new admission cap will also bolster efforts already underway to increase the ability of the United States to admit refugees, so that we can meet the target of 125,000 refugee admissions that I intend to set for. the next exercise.
It is important to take this step today to remove any lingering doubts in the minds of refugees around the world who have suffered so much and who are eagerly awaiting the start of their new lives.
The United States Refugee Admission Program embodies the United States’ commitment to protect the most vulnerable and to be a beacon of freedom and refuge in the world. It’s a statement about who we are and who we want to be. So we will rebuild what was shattered and do all we can to complete the rigorous screening process for refugees already awaiting admission.
The sad truth is, we won’t get 62,500 admissions this year. We are working quickly to repair the damage of the past four years. It will take time, but this work is already underway. We have reopened the program to new refugees. And by changing regional allocations last month, we have already increased the number of refugees ready to leave for the United States.
The budget I submitted to Congress also reflects my commitment to the goal of 125,000 refugee admissions in the first year of my presidency. This goal will always be difficult to achieve. We might not pass the first year. But we will use all the tools available to help these fully vetted refugees fleeing horrific conditions in their country of origin. This will reaffirm American leadership and American values when it comes to refugee admissions.