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The Graphic Truth: How many refugees does the US let in?

Immigration has been a major challenge for the nascent Biden administration, testing the new US president's ability to placate moderates on both sides of the aisle, as well as the progressive wing of his own party. Biden initially pledged to keep the US' annual refugee cap at 15,000 — a "ceiling" set by the Trump administration, the lowest in US history. But after that move sparked swift backlash, Biden this week reversed course: 62,500 refugees will now be allowed to enter the US over the next six months. How does this compare to policies set by previous US administrations? We take a look at refugee admittance numbers since 1980.

George Floyd Police Reform Bill unlikely to pass Senate

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on US politics:

With the conviction of Derek Chauvin, will there be a George Floyd Policing Reform Bill?

Unlikely right now. It's possible, but there's a big divide between Republicans and Democrats over the issue of eliminating qualified immunity. Democrats want to get rid of it. Republicans want to keep it in order to make sure that cops aren't exposed to too much liability while they're on the job. And to get anything done in the Senate, you need 60 votes, which would, of course, require 10 Republicans. So, conversations are likely to be ongoing, but this issue went nowhere during the Trump administration because both sides decided they wanted something, to make something political out of it, and I don't think that much is going to change now.

Why did President Biden flip-flop on the refugee cap?

President Biden promised during the campaign that he would lift President Trump's refugee cap from 15,000 to its old level of 65,000. But with a surging migrant crisis on the southern border, Biden decided this wasn't a priority and changed his mind a little bit on undoing the refugee cap. The administration announced this last Friday and there was a lot of pushback from migrant and refugee advocates against them for doing so. They later that evening flip-flopped again and said that sometime in May they were going to announce a new policy that would satisfy most of their allies on the left. But the issue of the border is still a big one for President Biden, one that's been dormant for quite some time. But with a surging number of children in particular rising on the southern border, it's not going to go away.

Will Washington, DC become the 51st state?

I'm standing here on a street corner in DC and I think the answer is probably also unlikely. And the reason is similar to the George Floyd Bill, that you cannot get 60 votes in the Senate to pass this. You'd have to eliminate the filibuster and even if you did that, it's unclear today if there are 50 Democrats in the Senate who would favor doing so. The House has now passed the bill multiple times to make DC a state, but the outlook in the Senate is just not that good. Stay tuned, because this is going to be a really important political issue throughout the year, especially as the Democrats look at the likelihood they might lose the House of Representatives next year.

Can Biden work with López Obrador on meaningful immigration reform?

Can President Biden work with Mexican president López Obrador to pass meaningful immigration reform for the first time in decades? Acclaimed journalist and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos thinks there is a path, but it requires a certain baseline understanding. "There has to be an immigration plan that includes the fact that one-to-two million immigrants are going to be coming every single year to this country. Those are the facts, like it or not." With tens of thousands of Central American migrants amassing just south of the US border, many living in squalid conditions, Ramos argues that Biden must act swiftly but also shrewdly. He spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Can AMLO Live Up to Mexico's Critical Moment? Jorge Ramos Discusses

Colombia’s Angela Merkel moment

Colombian President Iván Duque earlier this week announced that as many as 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants currently in Colombia will now be authorized to live and work legally in the country for ten years.

As humanitarian gestures by world leaders go, it's hard to find something on this scale in recent history.

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Xi Jinping's WEF speech on China's global leadership falls flat; Italy PM resigns over stimulus

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics on this week's World In (More Than) 60 Seconds:

What did you think of Xi Jinping's speech at the virtual World Economic Forum?

Well, his last speech at the real World Economic Forum in Davos, I remember being there four years ago, and given that Trump had just been elected, Xi Jinping gives this big, "We want to stand up and be leaders while the Americans are doing America first." And generally speaking, was probably the most important speech of the week. People liked it. This is a pretty different environment, not so much because Trump has gone, but rather because support and belief in Xi Jinping is pretty low. I will say one thing that was generally well responded to was the call not to enter into a new Cold War. Anybody in the business community generally supports that. There's so much integration and interdependence between the US and the Chinese economies that when Xi Jinping says, "We need to find ways to continue to work together," I mean, this is the pro-globalization audience he's speaking to. They generally agree. But otherwise, the message fell pretty flat. So, the idea that China is going to be globally useful on issues of leadership, especially when it comes to anything that might threaten Beijing's sovereignty, they check global norms at the door. And a few examples of that, when Xi called for support for the rules-based international order, that's in obvious contrast with China's violation of the one country, two systems framework in Hong Kong. And they said, "Well, that's a domestic issue." Well, actually that's not what your agreement was with the British handover. And just because you're more powerful doesn't mean that norm doesn't matter anymore.

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UNHCR chief: Why the world’s biggest nations have done so little to help refugees

The three largest economies in the word, the United States, China and Japan take a tiny fraction of the refugees compared to that of far poorer countries. Ian Bremmer asks UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi why that's the case and how to change it. "The backlog of asylum claims in the US is astronomical," Grandi tells Bremmer. "It's by far the biggest in the world" Their conversation was part of an episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: UNHCR chief: How the pandemic has upended the lives of refugees

The refugee crisis that has displaced 80 million people worldwide

80 million people. That's one percent of the world's total population. It's also the number of displaced people in the world today and the highest number since World War II. And it's a crisis that's been raging long before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. How did we get here and what we can do about it? The UN's top advocate for refugees, High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, has some answers. In fact, his passion for helping the world's most vulnerable has come at a cost. He recently tested positive for COVID-19 himself.

Watch the episode: UNHCR chief: How the pandemic has upended the lives of refugees

What makes the UN’s top refugee advocate, Filippo Grandi, the angriest?

"All over the industrialized world, the refugee issue has been manipulated for political reasons…it has become popular to say 'Let's get rid of them. Let's send them away. Let's not rescue them at sea.'" The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has faced an uphill battle in getting the leaders of the world to care about refugees for years. But, he says, the recent increase in the politicization of refugees as disease-carrying hoards truly makes his blood boil. Not only, he says, because it's morally wrong, but also because it's not an efficient way to handle the problem. His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of a new episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: UNHCR chief: How the pandemic has upended the lives of refugees

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