The refugee cap must be approved by the president. Biden has pledged to set an annual admissions cap of 125,000, though the plan is to wait until October, when the next fiscal year begins, to set that cap, according to one of the sources.
The refugee cap increase builds on a series of executive actions from Biden aimed at setting a new course for US immigration policy following the Trump administration’s hardline approach.
“I’m not making new law, I’m eliminating bad policy,” Biden said at the White House, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris. “This is about how America’s safer, stronger, more prosperous when we have a fair, orderly, and humane legal immigration system.”
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.
And in the last few years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the administration raised the refugee ceiling from 85,000 in fiscal year 2016 to 110,000 in fiscal year 2017 amid the Syrian crisis.
This story has been updated with additional information Wednesday.