In September, President Trump and his administration made substantial cuts to the American refugee program, slashing the number of eligible refugees by nearly half. The move sends a strong message to the rest of the world that the United States is committed to reducing the number of persecuted refugees it accepts from most parts of the world.
According to the State Department, only 18,000 refugees will be accepted in the next 12 months. The previous refugee cap was 30,000.
4,000 refugee slots will be reserved for Iraqis who worked with the United States military, while another 1,500 will be set aside for Central American refugees. 5,000 refugee visas will available for people facing religious persecution in other countries. The last 7,500 slots will be reserved for refugees petitioning for family unification and resettlement.
The Trump administration claims that the slashes to the refugee cap were made to accommodate the significant increase in the number of refugees seeking asylum. In a statement, the administration said, “President Trump is prioritizing the safety and security of the American people by making sure we do not admit more people than we can vet.”
However, religious and humanitarian groups strongly disagree with the changes, saying they break more than 40 years of precedent. Jennifer Sime of the International Rescue Committee said the administration’s new policy “completely ignores the welcome that communities have provided to refugees, as well as the important contributions resettled refugees have made to these communities all across the country.”
In addition to the new cap, Trump also signed an executive order that requires state and local agencies to provide written consent to the federal government if they want to accept refugees.
Talk to an Experienced Immigration Attorney
While this news is a major hit to refugees fleeing violence and persecution, our team of dedicated immigration lawyers is still here to help you and your loved ones navigate the legal system. Get in touch with us to discuss the details of your situation so we can create a custom legal strategy that protects your rights.
Give us a call today at (602) 353-7795 to request your case evaluation with a member of our law firm.