Thousands of Haitian migrants remain under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as federal authorities have been sending out planes to fly the newcomers away from the already-crowded border.
US President Joe Biden has proposed to Congress that it increase the country’s refugee admission cap to 125,000 for the next fiscal year that will begin on 1 October, according to a submitted report released by the State Department on Monday.
Biden also suggested taking in some 15,000 refugees from both East Asia and the Latin America/Caribbean region. Meanwhile, the allocation quota would give only 10,000 spots to newcomers arriving from Europe and Central Asia, while leaving the same number of spaces for “unallocated reserve”.
These 10,000 spare admissions can be used “if needed for additional refugee admissions from any region,” the document reads.
In the submitted report, the president’s office said that the numbers are based “on refugee resettlement needs and humanitarian policy priorities” and includes a target for “expected arrivals” of Afghan refugees following NATO’s chaotic withdrawal from the country in late August.
The number of “vulnerable individuals” who are seeking settlement in the US from the so-called Northern Triangle countries – Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – has also been taken into account by the proposal.
The new cap is marking a double increase from the current limit of 62,500 refuges which Biden set in May, raising it from former president Donald Trump’s 15,000 target.
“Communities across the United States are ready to welcome their new neighbours, yet @POTUS continues to lag behind those eager to make this country their new home,” O’Brien wrote on Twitter Monday.
— Paul O'Brien (@dpaulobrien) September 20, 2021
While approximately 40,000 refugees from Afghanistan have been resettled in the US in recent days, according to the Wall Street Journal report, thousands of Haitian migrants have also been gathering now in a massive makeshift camp under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas. Many of them cited a recent earthquake and political turmoil that followed the killing of President Jovenel Moïse as a reason for their escape from the country, and claimed they were unwilling to return to their homeland.