The US will only take 30,000 refugees at most over the next fiscal year, the lowest amount since the 1980 Refugee Act.
The current cap is set at 45,000, meaning the new cap is lower by 33%, although at current vetting rates it’s unlikely the US will even admit 45,000 before the end of the current fiscal year.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attributed the cutbacks to the current backlog of 800,000 asylum seekers.
“In consideration of both U.S. national security interest and the urgent need to restore integrity to our overwhelmed asylum system, the United States will focus on addressing the humanitarian protection cases of those already in the country,” he said. “This year’s refugee ceiling also reflects our commitment, our commitment to protect the most vulnerable around the world while prioritizing the safety and well-being of the American people, as President Trump has directed.”
“We must continue to responsibly vet applicants to prevent the entry of those who might do harm to our country.”
Additionally, the US under Trump will focus on ending conflicts around the world that’s fueling skyrocketing immigration, Pompeo added, because the worldwide number of refugees tops 68 million.
That’s nearly the population of Thailand, to put it into perspective.
Since 2017, refugees and asylum seekers have come under tougher screening processes designed to weed out terrorists.
International law differentiates between refugees and asylum seekers; the latter are allowed to stay in the country while courts consider their cases.