Last modified on August 22, 2021, at 17:16


A refugee is a person who is immigrating to another country because of political or social turmoil within his or her own country.

Joe Biden's position

In 1975, Senator Joe Biden was outspokenly opposed to a plan by President Gerald Ford, after the fall of Saigon in 1975, to authorize funds to 175,000 Vietnamese refugees. During a meeting on April 14, 1975, between Biden's Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the president, Biden said:

I feel put upon in being presented an all-or-nothing number. I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out. I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out.

Ford retorted that that “our tradition is to welcome the oppressed.” Biden responded again a week later:

I do not believe the United States has an obligation, moral or otherwise, to evacuate foreign nationals.

The United States has no obligation to evacuate one, or 100,001, South Vietnamese.

Biden repeated his position while speaking at the funeral of the Democratic South Dakota Sen. George McGovern in 2012.

See also