Trump Lowers Refugee Cap to 45000, Lowest Ever

Sep 29, 2017, 00:35
Trump Lowers Refugee Cap to 45000, Lowest Ever

Refugees are not the same as regular immigrants.

The Trump administration has proposed to Congress a major cut to the number of refugees that will be allowed to enter the us, a senior usa official confirmed to reporters Wednesday.

The State Department informed the Senate and House judiciary committees of the lower limit Wednesday and, after consultation with Congress, will put the new cap into effect at the end of September, officials said.

Notably, this cap does not include an "unallocated reserve" quota for the administration to respond to unforeseen upticks in refugees, according to the CNN.

The Trump administration has told Congress it will limit refugee admissions to about 45,000 in the fiscal year that starts Sunday.

But that type of assistance "ignores all the people who have fled to places that are still not safe", said another former Obama administration official, Anne Richard. Last year, then-President Barack Obama announced the United States would take in at least 110,000 refugees, up from 85,000 in the previous year.

This year's process has been a contentious one, with White House domestic policy adviser Stephen Miller, who advocates a hard-line view on immigration, inserting himself into a discussion that is typically dominated by foreign policy concerns. The ceiling has never gone below 67,000 in the nearly 40 years that the refugee admissions program has existed in the U.S.

These developments would not be surprising, given the president's statements suggesting that the USA refugee resettlement program is a threat to national security.

Administration officials planned to inform senior lawmakers of the decision yesterday, according to the officials, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorised to pre-empt a formal announcement.

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Africa will receive the largest allotment of 19,000 refugees, or 42 per cent of the total.

The State Department had initially pushed for a cap of at least 50,000 but later Secretary of State Rex Tillerson overruled career staff and revised its recommendation to the president to 45,000.

DHS argued that admitting fewer refugees would allow the agency to direct more resources toward vetting applications for asylum.

In a speech to the United Nations last week, he thanked Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Syrian conflict, and described the United States as a "compassionate nation" that has spent "billions and billions of dollars in helping to support this effort".

"It's really moving away from the commitments the government has had for the protections of refugees from both Republican and Democratic administrations", he said. Notably in 2002, admissions dropped by more than 60 percent, while the admission cap only fell by 12.5 percent.

"We have recognized for many years that offering safe haven to the neediest among us helps advance American interests overseas, and it is devastating to see the White House ignoring this fact", said Karen Ferguson, executive director of the International Rescue Committee of Northern California in a statement.

It is unclear if the administration will impose any restrictions on top of the cap after October 24.

He had also taken aim at German chancellor Angela Merkel for allowing more than a million refugees into Germany in 2015 at the height of the refugee crisis.

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