U.N. welcomes Biden decision to admit more refugees as 'lifeline'


FILE PHOTO: Central American migrants walk on the train track near the "Sacred Family" shelter as they make the perilous journey north to the United States, in Apizaco, Tlaxcala, Mexico April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

GENEVA (Reuters) -The U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday welcomed a decision by U.S. President Joe Biden to admit up to 62,500 refugees this year, saying it hoped this would inspire other countries to resettle more people fleeing war or persecution.

Biden said on Monday he had resurrected a plan to raise refugee admissions this year to 62,500 after drawing a wave of criticism from supporters for initially keeping the refugee cap at a historically low level of 15,000, set by his predecessor Donald Trump, an immigration hawk.

Filippo Grandi, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, praised Biden's decision as "a move to restore the U.S. leadership on refugee resettlement" that would also save lives.

It came as global resettlement of refugees has plummeted to unprecedented levels after states imposed low quotas and departures and processing were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Grandi said.

Barely 1.6% of 1.44 million people with refugee status who were prioritised for resettlement in another country of asylum last year found new homelands through the UNHCR, or 22,770 - the lowest number in nearly two decades.

"The U.S. commitments to increase admissions for this year and the next are therefore a lifeline for refugees and for our global resettlement programme," Grandi said.

(Reporting by Stephanie NebehayEditing by Mark Heinrich)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Next In World

Russia reports 17,611 new COVID-19 cases, 450 deaths
Taliban say committed to Afghan peace talks, want 'genuine Islamic system'
Olympics-Venue medical officers want no spectators amid COVID-19 fears
Dubai airport targets 28 million passengers this year, CEO says
Small COVID-19 outbreaks keep plaguing Australia
Both sides in Peru's contested election double down in weekend rallies
French far-right tests voters' appetite in regional elections
Cuba encouraged by early efficacy results of homegrown COVID-19 vaccine
Airlines, holiday companies ramp up pressure on Britain to ease travel rules
Teaching 9/11 to the young

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers