The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the number.
The 11,445 refugee admissions total falls far below the nation’s cap of 62,500 for the 2021 budget year that Biden set in May. It's also below the record-low ceiling of 15,000 that Trump had initially set for the year.
Biden initially indicated he would not override the 15,000-person cap, saying in an emergency determination that it “remains justified by humanitarian concerns and is otherwise in the national interest."
But that brought sharp rebuke from Democratic allies who criticized him for not taking the symbolic step of authorizing more refugees this year. The White House quickly reversed course and raised the cap, though Biden said at the time that he did not expect the U.S. would meet the new 62,500 ceiling with only four months left in the 2021 budget year, given the ongoing restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic and work the administration says is needed to rebuild the program.
Refugee advocates said the record-low number reflects the damage done by the Trump administration to the program. Before the 2021 budget year, the lowest number of refugees allowed in was during the 2020 budget year when the number hit 11,814.
The historical yearly average was 95,000 under previous Republican and Democratic administrations.
The Biden administration has expanded the narrow eligibility criteria put in place by his predecessor that had kept out most refugees, among other steps. But critics say it's not enough and that the Biden administration has moved too slowly.
It remains to be seen whether refugee admissions will reach anywhere near the 125,000 cap that Biden has set for the current budget year, which started Friday.
Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, one of nine U.S. agencies working to resettle refugees, said efforts need to be accelerated to add personnel overseas, do more remote interviews and relieve the enormous backlog of refugee applications.
She said that while the program was gutted by the Trump administration, it is now Biden's responsibility to revive it.
“If we are to reach President Biden’s goal of welcoming 125,000 refugees, the administration must be aggressive and innovative in ramping up processing," she said in a statement.
Mark Hetfield of HIAS, another resettlement agency, agreed that Biden “should have done better."
“What this record low number really shows ... is that the administration needs to remove the red tape and other obstacles that hinder the resettlement program from effectively responding to emergencies like Afghanistan," he said.
Biden, who co-sponsored legislation creating the refugee program in 1980, has said reopening the door to refugees is “how we will restore the soul of our nation.”
Associated Press writer Ellen Knickmeyer in Washington contributed to this report.