The Trump administration will allow no more than 45,000 refugees into the United States next year, officials said Tuesday, in what would be the lowest admissions level in more than a decade.
The U.S. welcomed 84,995 in fiscal year 2016, and former President Barack Obama had wanted to raise that number to 110,000 in 2017.
President Donald Trump lowered the fiscal year 2017 cap to 50,000 – a number that was reached on July 12. The State Department's Refugee Processing Center says the U.S. accepted 51,392 in the first eight months of this year.
Now Trump is expected to announce an even lower cap on refugee admissions for next year, following a lengthy debate within his administration about whether it should be adjusted go up or down.
President Donald Trump plans to lower the cap on refugee admissions for the fiscal year that begins October 1
Syrian refugees like these trying to get into Hungary have had diminished prospects of reaching the United States since Trump took office
The latest crisis, the Muslim Rohingya people fleeing from oppression in Myanmar, have put pressure on refugee agencies all over the world
The 45,000 figure represents the maximum number of refugees the U.S. would be willing to accept. The actual number of refugees who move to the United States could actually be lower.
The administration had been considering a ceiling somewhere between 40,000, which the Homeland Security Department recommended, and 50,000, the State Department's preferred level, according to officials. The new figure appears to be a compromise that Cabinet officials felt would be palatable to the president.
Still, Trump's stated hostility to accepting refugees and opposition among others in his administration mean the U.S. may not intend to fill all 45,000 slots in the 2018 fiscal year that starts Sunday.
The U.S. hasn't taken in so few refugees in a single year since 2006, when 41,223 were allowed entry.
Trump attempted to put a freeze on all refugee admissions shortly after taking office in January, but federal courts limited his reach.
And even as the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in to green-light his larger travel ban policy targeting six terror-prone nations, the high court has codified exceptions for