White House seeks to limit refugee admission at 45000 for 2018

by Sophie Craig September 29, 2017, 0:35
White House seeks to limit refugee admission at 45000 for 2018

He made the issue a focus during the presidential campaign, advocating for a wall along the US border with Mexico and the deportation of immigrants in the country illegally, and saying that Syrian refugees fleeing their country's civil war present a security threat to the United States. That is the lowest level reported in 36 years from the usa, and a dramatic drop from last year's 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration.

The State Department conveyed those numbers to Congress on Wednesday, officials said.

Notably, this cap does not include an "unallocated reserve" quota for the administration to respond to unforeseen upticks in refugees, according to the CNN.

If the cap is set at 45,000, it would go into effect October 1, the start of the 2018 fiscal year.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR put the number of refugees this year at an all time high, with 22.5 million worldwide coming mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan. The annual ceiling has fluctuated between 70,000 and 80,000, until soaring to 110,000 under President Barack Obama.

The former official, who favored a higher number, said the decision will undermine the US ability to persuade nations such as Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon that have accepted huge flows of Syrian refugees to keep admitting them as well as to convince donor nations to keep up financial contributions for refugees.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had proposed earlier this month that 75,000 refugees - which was still a reduction of over 25 percent from the previous administration - be the goal for refugee admission next year.

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White House domestic policy chief Stephen Miller reportedly wanted 20,000. He is expected to set a cap of 45,000 for FY 2018. 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. "Since 1980, the US has resettled about 3 million refugees".

The visa restrictions announced this week, which replace the expiring ban and are implemented on a country-by-country basis, do not have a blanket ban on refugees and it unknown how it will affect the new regional caps.

The new cap is the lowest in decades for the USA refugee admission program and marks an especially steep decline from recent years.

United States officials said they hoped to complete the review next month and announce new controls, but that arrivals next year will be reduced. And the president has argued the refugees can be helped more by keeping them close to their homelands. "It's really moving away from the commitments the government has had for protections of refugees from both Republican and Democratic administrations", he said.

The State Department, which oversees the program, has formally recommended that the number be kept at 50,000, according to Trump administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations. This will be the lowest acceptance level in more than a decade. 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.

In Turkey, nearly three million people are now living as refugees, compared to only 227,000 in total in the United States, according to UN statistics.


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