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UN welcomes Biden administration commitment to refugee protection

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21 Jan 2021
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UN welcomes Biden administration commitment to refugee protection


UN welcomes Biden administration commitment to refugee protection

 By United Nations Secretariat  21 january 2021

The UN Secretary-General welcomed the “positive steps” announced by the new US administration towards migrants and refugees, while the head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) congratulated the new President and Vice President on taking office, pledging to work with them to strengthen global support for refugees.

Filippo Grandi


Congratulations, President @JoeBiden and Vice-President @KamalaHarris We at UNHCR look forward to working with you on strengthening US global support to refugees, rebuilding the US resettlement programme and ensuring that the US asylum system is effective, just and humane.

5:22 PM · Jan 20, 2021

“Long a strong advocate for refugees, Mr. Biden has made important commitments to restoring the US refugee resettlement programme and ensuring that human rights and humanitarian values are at the centre of the US asylum system”, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said in a statement.


Looking forward


“The Secretary-General looks forward to working with the new US administration to strengthen multilateral cooperation” to support migrants and refugees, said the statement issued on behalf of António Guterres. “He also hopes to see the United States join the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.”

He noted that US support to address the needs of migrants and refugees has been strong and steadfast.

“This partnership is needed now more than ever as we seek to provide assistance, protection, and sustainable solutions to the displacement of record numbers of people who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict, violence, or disaster, or are migrating in the hopes of finding a better life for themselves and their families.”

For more than seventy years, UNHCR has enjoyed robust and steadfast support from the Government and people of the United States, said Mr. Grandi.

While the Trump administration had severely reduced the number of refugees admitted through the resettlement programme, as part of an anti-immigration stance that included a travel ban on citizens travelling from a group of mainly Muslim-majority countries, President Biden has signalled that he will restore it.

According to news reports, the Obama administration had planned in 2016 to admit 110,000 refugees, but the Trump White House moved to reduce that number each year, culminating in a cap of just 15,000 for this year – the lowest refugee admission figure on record.

The new President has reportedly pledged to raise the annual refugee admissions ceiling to 125,000.




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