Biden Admin Rips Trump Policy While Insisting POTUS Didn’t Break Vow On Refugees | Talking Points Memo

Biden administration officials on Sunday defended the President after he faced swift and strong criticism from refugee advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers for initially signing an order last week that would keep a Trump-era limit on U.S. refugee admissions in place for the fiscal year. The President has since committed to increasing the nation’s refugee cap, but did not provide a specific amount.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

JFC, give the man time to work. He’s got a Trumpload of things to fix / undo / repair.


It would have been better to just say this from the outset, instead of what was actually said.

Where “from the outset” can refer to any of several points between, say, last August and last week.


Don’t know if you can read this behind the paywall, but they do face a bureaucratic and legal mess on immigration. A mess largely engineered by Stephen Miller. They’ve stumbled here, obviously, but it’s hard to argue that there’s really anything malevolent going on with this. A political miscalculation (at worst) among very few at this point. It’s been disappointing how quick people have been to draw out their knives on this.


A political miscalculation whose price is paid not by “soccer moms” or hedge-fund managers but largely by the most desperate and helpless people around the globe.

That’s why some folk here are angry.




I find it completly plausible that the infrastructure of the imigration system was trashed by the previous admin. Someone familiar with what was possible in the Obama administration could be very surprised with what was left for them this year.

The price was elevated hopes being dashed and then the suspicion of betrayal. Who is paying this price? People who are seeking asylum for sure. And the Biden administration.


To put it mildly.


Not merely plausible, it’s a fact!

The thing is, it was known long before Biden made his promises, long before he was elected. Anyone with a passing familiarity of these issues knew it …


Yes. One thing I’d add is a clarification: We’re talking about taking in refugeespeople whose application to enter the US has already been approved because they are in great peril.

Prior to this approval is when you could say they were seeking asylum.


I’m reminded of the story of the new president receiving two envelopes from his predecessor and instructions to open them in times of crisis, the first of which contained a “blame me” letter and the second of which had a “get two envelopes” letter.

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Less than a month into his administration, Biden pledged to raise the cap to 125,000 people in order to “rebuild what has been so badly damaged” in the immigration system.

“I’m directing the State Department to consult with Congress about making a down payment on that commitment as soon as possible,” Biden said in a speech at the State Department on February 4.


What would one do if one’s home was damaged in a hurricane and then utterly wiped away along with this years crops and all local food storage facilities by a second hurricane weeks later? Leave Honduras and head north? I would. hurricanes Eta and Iota struck this past November. There;s gonna be precious little crop harvest in Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
And there are a bunch of folks we need to bring to America from Afghanistan as their lives could easily be ended when we leave.


It may be less disappointing if one faces the reasons and understands them.


By people, do you mean the 30 lawmakers plus Pelosi who called on him to raise the number just before he announced he was keeping trump’s? Their careers are on the line here too.


Whiny snowflake is bitching about being a victim of dirty tricks…


Not necessarily. We took in thousands of Ukrainian refugees in the aftermath of the Russian invasion, yet there was much of the country where you never ran into war, and could go out drinking and partying with your friends with no concerns.

Refugee status and what exactly the status is back where they come from isn’t some black and white delineation.



For example, in Ukraine, even if not everyone felt themselves to be in great peril, some people did – and among those who did, many applied for – and were granted – refugee status.

As for “some black and white delineation,” yes, that is exactly what happens. You apply and the US government either approves or rejects your application before you ever reach our shores.

Maybe you think we declare certain countries to be sources or not-sources of refugees. That is not how it works. Applications are submitted by individuals or families and are judged primarily on that basis.

As previously clarified:


The Ukrainians who could go out drinking an partying were not classified as refugees. Others were. explains, “Refugee is the classification for someone who is forced to flee their country of origin due to conflict, violence, or persecution. They are unwilling or unable to return based on a demonstrable threat due to their race, religion, political stance, or social status.” In international law, because of the danger to the refugee of being returned to the country of origin, this process or “refoulement” is forbidden.

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Should they have, though? Kyiv and Lviv and Odessa and the rest of the West never faced a threat (after an initial try in Odessa which was squashed).

While I dearly love my Ukrainian friends, accepting them as refugees seems not to match the general understanding that the average person has of refugees fleeing a war zone.

If Texas goes into rebellion again, should we resettle refugees from there elsewhere in the US, or externally to Britain or another ally?

Not saying we shouldn’t, but it’s a much more nuanced thing than the media makes it out to be.

Frankly, anyone who felt threatened after the invasion in Ukraine would be a Russian nationalist type whom we don’t want here anyways.

If you know of Ukrainians (or anyone else) who lied on their applications for refugee status, you can let the government know.

Failing that, I’d assume that applications were vetted more or less aggressively before being approved.