Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Trump Administration to Reduce Cap on Refugees Allowed Into U.S. to Record-Low 18,000

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press
The Trump administration will cap the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. at 18,000 people for the fiscal year beginning in October, a record low.
The large reduction is the administration’s latest effort to limit immigration to the U.S., both legal and illegal. Administration officials have long voiced opposition to the refugee program, which they say poses national security risks, though each potential refugee is thoroughly vetted before arriving. The move mirrors steps his administration has taken to limit the number of people who can win asylum in the U.S., who, like refugees, must be fleeing violence or persecution.
President Trump had already reduced the refugee cap to a record low of 45,000 people in his first year, down from 110,000 people at the end of the Obama administration. Last year, he shrank the number further to 30,000 people—and nearly 29,000 people have resettled, according to State Department data.
In a separate executive order, Mr. Trump will allow states and cities to opt out of accepting refugees, a move the administration has long sought. The order is likely to be challenged in court.
The president holds sole authority to set annual refugee caps, and the ultimate number of people taken in each year could even fall lower than the caps set. The lowest cap before the Trump administration was 67,000 refugees, set by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. In the fiscal year beginning in October 2001, days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush initially set the refugee cap at 70,000 but ultimately took in just 27,000 refugees.
Most of the available refugee slots would be reserved for people from a handful of countries or who are members of special-status groups. Some Iraqis who aided U.S. troops, for example, will be assured refugee status, as will some people fleeing religious persecution.
Additionally, 1,500 refugee slots will be set aside for people from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, home to the vast majority of people currently entering the country illegally.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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