Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Signs read: "Refugees Welcome" and "One World One Family"

President Joe Biden's executive order Thursday represented "a marked and promising shift from the Trump administration's callous disregard for human life and hatred for refugees—most of whom are Black and Brown immigrants, including Muslims," said the ACLU's Manar Waheed. (Photo: Ilias Bartolini/flickr/cc)

Rejecting Trump's "Callous Disregard for Human Life," Biden Significantly Raises Refugee Cap

"The action today by President Biden will save lives. It's that simple."

Andrea Germanos

Human rights organizations welcomed President Joe Biden's executive order Thursday significantly raising the cap on the number of refugees allowed into the country.

"It's going to take time to rebuild what has been so badly damaged, but that's precisely what we're going to do," Biden said Thursday.

"How quickly and how comprehensively we are able to welcome our new neighbors will decide just how bright our future can be."
—Bob Goodfellow, Amnesty International USA
Former President Donald Trump—whose administration was marked by xenophobic policies—set the ceiling for refugee admissions at a record low 15,000, a move that elicited fierce criticism from rights groups.

Biden announced his intention to raise the cap to 125,000, called for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) to "be rebuilt and expanded," revoked Trump's orders blocking refugee resettlement, and directed federal agencies to look into climate-related impacts on refugees and displacement.

According to Manar Waheed, senior legislative and advocacy counsel for the ACLU, the order reflects "a marked and promising shift from the Trump administration's callous disregard for human life and hatred for refugees—most of whom are Black and Brown immigrants, including Muslims."

"However," Waheed added, "we know that for this announcement to be fully realized, there is a lot of work to do."

After being "decimated" by the previous administration, she said, the nation's refugee system "must be rebuilt fairly, effectively, and efficiently to fulfill its legal and moral responsibilities so people can seek safety in the United States per our immigration laws."

Refugees International president Eric Schwartz also welcomed the order, saying it "recognizes the importance of a program that saves lives, unites families, and contributes so much to American life."

The Trump term was "slashing... refugee resettlement numbers in the United States even as global refugee numbers continued to climb," said Schwartz. He expressed hope Biden's announcement would be the first of "many contributions to rebuilding the refugee resettlement infrastructure in the United States and restoring the leadership of the United States in support and protection for refugees.”

Bob Goodfellow, interim executive director of Amnesty International USA, looked ahead at broader changes still needed to strengthen refugee protections.

"The question today before a new administration and a reorganized Congress... is about the lives, well-being, and human rights of people around the world and about our shared future together. How quickly and how comprehensively we are able to welcome our new neighbors will decide just how bright our future can be," said Goodfellow.

He also called on the U.S. government to "invest in our shared future including [through] humanitarian programs, family reunification, a private sponsorship model, and expanded community involvement in resettlement through robust promotion of other community sponsorship programs."

"The United States must take the first step forward together," he continued, "though acceptance of U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees referrals, request additional funds from Congress to allow for increased refugee admissions, and provide financial support to international organizations working to address refugees' needs and rights."

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, for his part, put the impact of Biden's order in clear terms.

"The action today by President Biden will save lives," he said in a statement Thursday. "It's that simple."

The Thursday order follows a number of other immigration-related actions the Biden administration has taken in its first month, including creating a task force to help reunify families separated under Trump's "zero tolerance" policy and recission of the Muslim ban.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

As Sinema Blocks Corporate Tax Hike, Demand Grows for Wealth Tax on Billionaires

"It seems truly unhinged to look at a country full of working people struggling to get by... and decide that it's more important to preserve low tax rates for billionaires and corporations than it is to make significant investments in our families."

Julia Conley ·


Israel Condemned for Designating Palestinian Human Rights Groups 'Terrorist Organizations'

"Labeling effective NGOs 'terrorists' is a textbook way to evade accountability for human rights violations—and an affront to everyone who cares about peace," said Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Kenny Stancil ·


House Progressives Call On Biden to Declare a Climate Emergency—Now

"Your inaction," Rep. Cori Bush warned the president, "is undermining our efforts to deliver good jobs, environmental justice, and a renewable energy future."

Jessica Corbett ·


Despite Politicians and Pundits' Claims, Twitter Finds Algorithm Favors Right-Wing Voices

"So much for Trump's claim that Twitter has an anti-conservative bias."

Brett Wilkins ·


'And Maybe More': Biden Says He's Open to Reforming Filibuster to Win Voting Rights

"It's a simple choice between a free America or one chained by the past," said one advocate. "Our democracy hangs in the balance."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo