Trump Slashes FY18 Refugee Numbers to 45K, Lowest Since 1980

Trump Slashes FY18 Refugee Numbers to 45K, Lowest Since 1980

White House, Sept. 29, 2017 - "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, in accordance with section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the "Act") (8 U.S.C. 1157), after appropriate consultations with the Congress, and consistent with the Report on Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2018 submitted to the Congress on September 27, 2017, I hereby determine and authorize as follows: The admission of up to 45,000 refugees to the United States during Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest."

Gregory Korte, USA Today, Sept. 9, 2017 - "President Trump signed an order Friday lowering the number of refugees allowed into the United States next year to 45,000 — the lowest cap since Congress passed the Refugee Act in 1980. That's a 59% reduction from the ceiling set by President Barack Obama just a year ago, and the largest one-year change in history. And it comes amid a global refugee crisis that international relief groups have called the worst since World War II. ... [A]dvocates said it signals a retreat in U.S. leadership on humanitarian issues across the globe. "First of all, it sends a statement to the rest of the world that we’re pulling back," Limon said. "And when we pull back, they pull back." The report to Congress also puts an emphasis on the cultural assimilation and employment of refugees into the United States, a policy change that experts said was "new and extremely controversial." "Refugees are supposed to be selected on the grounds of their need for protection, not on the basis of what they can contribute to the U.S.," said Kathleen Newland, co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute, a think tank that advocates for better management of international migration. "It certainly erodes the humanitarian values of the program and blurs the distinction between refugees and migrants." The Refugee Act was signed into law by President Carter in 1980 to address Russian Jews fleeing persecution and Vietnamese "boat people" fleeing in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. That year, refugee admissions into the United States exceeded 200,000. It spiked again in the early 1990s in response to the Balkan crisis, but over the last 38 years the average ceiling has been about 96,000."