Washington D.C., Nov 4, 2019 / 16:00 pm
The White House on Sunday finalized its quota of refugee admissions for the 2020 fiscal year, cutting the cap on U.S. refugee admissions to its lowest recorded level.
The White House said the fiscal year 2020 refugee cap of 18,000 “is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest.”
The Trump administration had originally announced the proposed refugee cap in September, saying that the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services would subsequently consult Congress.
The cap of 18,000 refugees is 40% lower than the quota of 30,000 refugees for FY 2019, which was a 33% drop from the FY 2018 limit of 45,000 refugees.
For the fiscal year 2017, the Obama administration set the ceiling at accepting 110,000 refugees, but the Trump administration halted the resettlement program for security concerns, ultimately admitting only 53,716 refugees for that fiscal year.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has criticized the proposed cuts to refugee admissions, saying that the U.S. can and should resettle more refugees at a time when 70 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced from their homes, according to the UN.
“We are currently in the midst of the world’s greatest forced displacement crisis on record, and for our nation, which leads by example, to lower the number of refugee admissions for those who are in need is unacceptable,” Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, chair of the USCCB migration committee, stated on Sept. 27 after the proposed cap was announced.
Bishop Vasquez had previously called for a return to resettlement quotas of 95,000 refugees.