• On Thursday, the Trump administration proposed only permitting 18,000 refugees to resettle in the U.S. in 2020, which would be “the lowest number in the history of the modern refugee program.”
  • Concurrently, President Trump “issued an executive order saying his administration would seek the approval of state and local governments to resettle refugees in their communities, in a shift for a federally directed program.”
  • A hallmark of Trump’s presidency has been decreasing immigration “and one of his first acts after assuming office in January 2017 was to issue an order capping the maximum number of refugees that year at 50,000, less than half the number former President Barack Obama had set a few months earlier.”
  • The caps were later “whittled down to 45,000 for 2018 and 30,000 for 2019, over the objections of senior officials in the Department of Defense, who view the program as crucial to rewarding and building allies in U.S. military campaigns oversees.”
  • In a statement, the administration justified the 2020 cap by saying “the focus had to be on processing in country asylum claims, most of which are filed by migrants from Central America crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.”
  • The State Department said: “The current burdens on the U.S. immigration system must be alleviated before it is again possible to resettle large number of refugees.”
  • Experts in the matter say “the U.S. refugee resettlement program, designed to take in people fleeing violence and persecution all over the world, serves mostly a different population than the immigrants arriving at the southwest border.”
  • These experts also say that “beneficiaries are meant to include persecuted religious minorities, people whose lives are in danger for assisting the U.S. military, orphaned children, and victims of female genital mutilation.”
  • The vice president of a group that aids refugees said: “Additional cuts next fiscal year would devastate thousands already referred for resettlement, nearly 30,000 of whom have already completed [government] interviews.”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: Trump administration proposes slashing number of refugees for U.S. resettlement READ
  • The Washington Times: Trump to cut refugees to 18,000, give localities veto over resettlement READ
  • Axios: Trump lowering the number of refugees permitted into U.S. to 18,000 READ
  • The Hill: Trump administration imposes 18K limit on refugees, the lowest ever READ

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