Secretary of State Dodges and Weaves on Refugee Cap Kerfuffle

“President Biden has broken his promise to restore our humanity.”

(Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the House Progressive Caucus)


Big mistake—they let Biden talk to the media!

You surely know by now that Chairman Joe blabbed to the media over the weekend that the reason he hasn’t moved on flying more of the third world to America via the US Refugee Admissions Program he helped create in 1979 is because the Administration has a crisis at the border and can’t do two things at once.

The primary agency of the federal government for refugee admission decisions is the US State Department.  Here we see that Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to clean things up, but he doesn’t seem to understand that he already approved the 62,500 cap increase for this fiscal year in February and it was sent to the Hill by the President via the State Department for consultation as the law requires.

The only thing missing to start the flow for these last two months was Biden’s signature.

As I mentioned on Saturday, Biden and Harris have made such a hash of the refugee program (okay by me!) that it begs the question—what else are they screwing up?

From ABC News:

Blinken defends Biden’s refugee cap, Afghanistan withdrawal in exclusive interview

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the Biden administration amid a barrage of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and refugee advocates for maintaining a Trump-era limit on refugee admissions for now.

While President Joe Biden pledged to admit 125,000 refugees in the new fiscal year next fall, Blinken wouldn’t commit to a number, telling ABC’s “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz, “Look, the president’s been clear about where he wants to go, but we have to be, you know, focused on what we’re able to do when we’re able to do it.”

That wait-and-see language from Blinken and the White House, citing the “decimated” state of the refugee resettlement program, enraged several prominent Democrats, as well as refugee resettlement agencies (aka the contractors***) who said they are ready to accept Biden’s pledge of 62,500 for the rest of this fiscal year.

Jayapal represents Seattle.

“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,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the House Progressive Caucus, said in a statement.

Big mistake: saying they would keep anything Trump ever did!

As a result, after the White House had announced Friday that Biden would keep former President Donald Trump’s historic low cap of 15,000 refugees, the administration backtracked and said it would raise the cap next month.

“We’re able to start to bring people in who’ve been in the pipeline and who weren’t able to come in. That is starting today, and we’re going to revisit it in the middle of May,” Blinken said.

Some 35,000 refugees have been vetted and approved for resettlement in the U.S., according to the International Rescue Committee, a resettlement agency.

Handy fall back!  Blame it all on Trump!

With Biden’s order, those resettlements can begin again, but they will be limited, with the administration saying Friday it would set a “final, increased refugee cap” next month after a few weeks of arrivals and blamed the Trump administration for leaving the program “broken,” in Blinken’s words.


Refugee resettlement agencies agreed that Trump left the nation’s program in tatters through funding cuts and onerous vetting measures, but they’ve said they could scale up quickly to meet Biden’s original target of 62,500, if the administration helped provide resources.

“Provide resources” is code for send more of your tax dollars to the contractors!

Instead, Biden on Saturday blamed the historic number of migrants arriving at the southern U.S. border for keeping the refugee cap low for now — a reason Blinken didn’t cite.

More here.

And, in the meantime, the World Socialist Web Site says they are all weaving and dodging because Biden is trying to appease the ultra-right!  Huh!

Biden seeks to appease ultra-right with refugee policy

Let me ask you:  are any of you right-wingers appeased by the delay in resettlement as the border is being overrun?

Again, this was an amusing unforced error on the part of the disorganized administration since the cap is just that, a cap, a ceiling, that they could have left at 62,500 while knowing they weren’t going to get anywhere near that number before the fiscal year ends on September 30th.  I am not complaining, just noting the rookie political blunder.


***In case you are new to RRW, here are all of the unhappy contractors.

They worked to ‘elect’ Biden/Harris and lobby for open borders.  As taxpayers you pay them millions annually to change America by changing the people.

Americans Last! is their motto!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the contractors’ lobbying push that actually begins today on the Hill.

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