Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the number of refugees allowed into the country for the fiscal year 2019 will be capped at 30,000, which is 15,000 less than this year’s limit (45,000).
Pompeo explained that the new cap was part of the Trump administration’s plan for having refugees settle near their home countries. He also added that security concerns were part of the decision to lower the limit.
Pentagon and State Department officials originally supported the idea of maintaining the 45,000-limit. However, it is unknown if they changed their views or if the White House decided to make such a change.
The 45,000-refugee cap in 2018 has been the lowest since 1980, the year the current program began. 22,000 refugees are on pace to enter the U.S. this year, which is around half of the maximum.
In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump promised more stringent immigration restrictions. Through executive orders and decisions made behind closed doors, his administration has immensely reduced refugee admissions since he took office.
Under this current administration, the percentage of Muslim refugees have been reduced by a third compared to a couple of years ago. By contrast, the percentage of European refugees has tripled in size.
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