The proposal comes after President Joe Biden underscored the importance of reclaiming the US posture in the world this week, which includes allowing more refugees to come to the country as was done under previous administrations.
CNN has reached out to the State Department for comment.
The refugee cap, which dictates how many refugees may be admitted to the US annually, must be approved by the president after consultation with Congress. But where the cap has often been viewed as a goal to be reached, the number of refugees admitted fell short under the Trump administration.
“Furthermore, the ongoing and changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the increasing distribution of recently developed COVID-19 vaccines in the United States and increased ability to use testing and other safety measures here and abroad, means that more refugees in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) are expected to be able to come to the United States in this fiscal year,” the report reads.
“Expansion of the USRAP in both numbers and in eligible populations will unleash the full weight of U.S. diplomatic and humanitarian programs towards resolving protracted refugee crises,” the report continues.
Given the pandemic and related travel restrictions, as well as other challenges, it’s unlikely that the administration will reach its refugee ceiling this fiscal year but it sets the tone and signals an intent to admit more in the future.
Each year, the administration sets a limit on how many refugees may be admitted to the US. Historically, the number of admissions has fluctuated according to world events, though it’s generally been high.
This story has been updated with background and more details from the report.