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.
For 2020, the administration has also announced other changes to refugee admissions, and will accept quotas of refugees by category instead of by world region.
The U.S. will accept up to 5,000 refugees with a "well-founded fear" of religious persecution or who are eligible for resettlement under the Lautenberg and Specter Amendments, in FY 2020. Those amendments provided for resettlement of individuals from the former Soviet Union, Indochina, and Iran with a well-founded fear of persecution, though not necessarily on an individual basis, and who required less proof of persecution.