Not lengthy after taking workplace, Mr. Trump slashed the refugee cap to 50,000 from the 110,000 set by Mr. Obama, and issued an govt order barring the entry of individuals from a number of predominantly Muslim international locations. The subsequent yr, he set a ceiling of 45,000; fewer than half arrived amid tighter background checks and restrictions.
Mr. Biden rapidly started to undo his predecessor’s immigration insurance policies, however rising public concern over the fast enhance in unauthorized crossings on the southwestern border prompted him to defer a plan to extend the cap on refugees this yr.
The delay compelled 700 refugees, already screened and holding tickets, to be pulled off flights. There was swift rebuke from human rights activists and fellow Democrats, and inside hours, the White Home introduced that the 2021 cap could be raised to 62,500. But it surely was not clear whether or not, given the pandemic, this system’s depletion by his predecessor and hovering numbers on the border, this quantity could be achieved.
As of March 31, the newest information out there, 20,829 Afghans, plus 52,799 relations, had obtained particular immigrant visas since 2014 beneath a separate program created by Congress for many who might face reprisals for his or her work with U.S. troops.
One of many Afghans who was evacuated and arrived in Houston this month, a 32-year-old interpreter who labored with a U.S. Marines platoon, mentioned he managed to flee solely days earlier than his metropolis, Gardez, south of Kabul, fell to the Taliban.
“I’m simply frightened for thus many individuals nonetheless there,” mentioned the person, who needed to be recognized solely by his English nickname, Harry, out of concern for the family members he left behind. “They’re hiding, or shifting their households from place to position.”