Willa Frej, HuffPo, Sept. 27, 2017 - "President Donald Trump is slashing the refugee admissions quota to 45,000 for the 2018 fiscal year, the latest in a series of moves reducing the number of refugees who can seek safety in the United States.
Former President Barack Obama had raised the refugee quota from 70,000 to 85,000 in fiscal year 2016 and then to 110,000 for 2017. The ceiling has never gone below 67,000 in the almost 40 years that the refugee admissions program has existed in the U.S.
Policy experts criticized Trump’s decision.
“It’s hard to comprehend why the administration would move to limit resettlement, when the need is greater than ever,” said Betsy Fisher, policy director for the International Refugee Assistance Project. “We are abandoning desperate people in life-or-death situations, including children with medical emergencies, U.S. wartime allies, and survivors of torture.”
″Historically, we have been a leader [in resettling refugees] and we do that for humanitarian reasons, national security reasons, global security reasons,” Melanie Nezer, vice president of public affairs at HIAS, the Jewish refugee resettlement agency, said Monday on a call to reporters. “Since 1980, the U.S. has resettled about 3 million refugees.”
Claims that refugees are a security threat have been thoroughly debunked, many advocates reiterated.
“If you enter the U.S. on an international flight from anywhere in the world and there’s a refugee family or individual on that aircraft, that individual is the most thoroughly vetted individual on that aircraft,” added Michael Breen, president and CEO of the Truman National Security Project.: