Biden wants more refugees, but it could take years to rebuild the resettlement system

“It is going to be hard,” said Nazanin Ash, the vice president of global policy and advocacy for the International Rescue Committee, one of the leading refugee assistance and resettlement organizations. “The destruction brought by the Trump administration was extreme with respect to the refugee admissions program, and they really looked at every possible way to massively alter the demographics and reduce the population and the pipeline of people coming to the United States.”

Experts say Biden will need to go far beyond raising the limit to return the flow of refugee admissions to what it once was; he also will need to remove the existing priority categories, revise the Trump-imposed vetting system and reallocate resources.

“There are these extreme vetting protocols in place right now, and there is really no oversight. So the end result is just delays,” said Wa’el Alzayat, the chief executive of the Emgage Foundation, a Muslim American civic engagement organization, and a Middle East policy adviser in the Obama administration.