The United States will reduce the number of refugees admitted into the country to 30,000 for next year.
“We proposed resettling up to 30,000 refugees under the new refugee ceiling as well as processing more than 280,000 asylum seekers,” stated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He also called the United States “the most generous nation in the world when it comes to protection-based immigration.”
“This year’s proposed refugee ceiling must be considered in the context of the many other forms of protection and assistance offered by the United States,” he said.
Historically, two presidents have admitted fewer refugees into the country than what President Trump’s administration is proposing. President Jimmy Carter holds the record for fewest refugees allowed to enter in a single year. That was 1977 when 19,946 entered. In 1976 just 27,206 were allowed into the country.
More recently, Republican President George Bush allowed just 27,131 in 2002 and only 28,403 in 2003 at the height of the Iraq war when refugees were pouring out of the middle east.
The number announced by Pompeo is the maximum the U.S. will admit during the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. The actual number allowed could be lower. The U.S. welcomed nearly 85,000 refugees in the final year of the Obama administration and 45,000 last year.
The media continues to promote the Trump admission numbers as “historic” and detrimental to refugees around the world yet, have not reported the numbers from Carter and Bush.
President Trump had previously said that refugees fleeing ISIS persecution should be given priority. It is not known if that wish has been taken into account.