Culture

Trump administration drops refugee cap to 45000

Trump administration drops refugee cap to 45000”

If implemented, the reduced number would represent the lowest intake of refugees to enter the United States in 10 years under the resettlement program.

"While maintaining the United States leadership role in humanitarian protection, an integral part of this mission is to ensure that refugee resettlement opportunities only go to those who are eligible for such protection and who are not known to present a risk to the safety and security of our country", the official said.

A US government official told reporters on Wednesday that, regarding the new refugee resettlement numbers, "the security and safety of the American people is our chief concern", and that refugee resettlement is "only one part of the United States response to the crisis of forced displacement around the world". After taking office in January, President Donald Trump issued an executive order lowering the maximum number to 50,000 for 2017, saying that more would be "detrimental to the interests of the United States". The administration has been contemplating a limit somewhere between 40,000 which was endorsed by Homeland Security Department 50,000, the State Department's desired level. The State Department report said there are now almost 300,000 asylum applications pending with DHS.

For fiscal year 2017, which ends September 30, former President established a cap of 110,000 refugees for permanent resettlement in the United States. Former President Barack Obama had placed a 110,000 limit on refugees previous year, in part to take in a growing number of Syrian refugees displaced around the world.

The administration aims to admit 19,000 refugees from Africa; 5,000 from East Asia; 2,000 from Europe and Central Asia; 1,500 from the Caribbean and Latin America, and 17,500 from Near East and South Asia. The Obama administration raised the cap past year, pledging to resettle 110,000 people, in a push to encourage other countries to do more in the Syrian crisis.

Lowering the cap reflects Mr Trump's opposition to accepting refugees and other immigrants into the United States, an approach that has already driven down refugee admissions. Moreover, as reflected in a recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research and the bulk of scholarship in this area, the economic benefits provided by refugees-who also help to revitalize local communities-outweigh the financial costs to the United States in supporting their resettlement.

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David Inserra from the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation said Congress should have more of a say in setting the cap to avoid radical swings in the numbers when there is a change in administrations. Refugees remain outside the USA while their applications are considered; asylum applicants are filed by people who are already here.

The number was a compromise, The Hill reported, noting senior policy adviser Stephen Miller pushed for only 15,000.

The new refugee ceiling is "tragic" and "misguided", according to Mindy Berkowitz, executive director of Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley in Los Gatos, one of just a few refugee resettlement agencies in Santa Clara County. "The United States can also help a larger number of refugees by resettling them in their home region and enabling their eventual safe return home".

Congressional officials received the administration's report in hard-copy form on Wednesday less than three hours before a scheduled consultation between cabinet officials and top Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate, one Congressional aide said. Notably in 2002, admissions dropped by more than 60 percent, while the admission cap only fell by 12.5 percent.

Officials said the administration doesn't plan to keep the suspension in place after the 120-day period ends next month. Germany has borne the brunt of the global refugee crisis, granting full refugee status or other protection to more than 1 million Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis, Eritreans and others since 2015.



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