U.S. resettled more than 60,000 refugees in fiscal year 2023
The number of refugees admitted in September was 8,762, bringing the total number resettled for FY2023 to 60,014. This number is 48% of the 125,000 cap, the highest number of refugees resettled since FY2016 and a larger number than the combined totals from 2020-2022.
The Biden administration plans to keep the refugee admission cap at 125,000 for 2024 while raising the number of refugees admitted from the Caribbean and Latin America to up to 50,000, a significant increase from the 15,000 allocated in 2023. However, the U.S. resettled only 2,765 people from that region this year.
Mexico rejected a request by the U.S. to set up migrant processing centers
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has not agreed to set up U.S. funded migrant transit centers in the country. The purpose of the centers are to provide safe, orderly, humane, and lawful pathways to enter the U.S., Canada, and Spain in order to alleviate the pressure of large numbers of migrants being processed at the border.
President Lopez Obrador said he would prefer to have the centers placed in the countries from which migrants are arriving. He is planning to discuss the transit centers at a meeting with Latin American leaders happening later in October.
President Biden says that border wall is ineffective
Last week the Biden administration announced that funds allocated for border wall construction under the Trump administration must be used for what they were allocated and has ordered the construction of a border barrier in Starr County, Texas. After the announcement reporters asked President Biden if he thought that border barriers worked, to which he answered “no.” However, administration officials say that they have no choice but to use the funds to continue installation of the barriers because it was money appropriated by Congress and they had tried unsuccessfully to reallocate the funds.
Eleven billion dollars were spent on border wall construction under the Trump administration yet the number of migrants encountered in FY2023 totaled 2,860,127, an increase of over 200 million from FY2020. “The best, most proactive way to keep many people from showing up at the US-Mexico border is to offer them a safer, more orderly pathway here, but such immigration avenues are in woefully short supply right now.” wrote Alexandra Villarreal, a policy and advocacy associate at the National Immigration Forum, in a recent analysis.