Reduced Cap May Mean Fewer Refugees Come To Arizona

September 28, 2017

Arizona ranks among the top states for refugee resettlement, but the Trump administration wants to slash the number of displaced people allowed into the United States next year.

Officials unveiled a plan this week to accept no more than 45,000 refugees in the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. A temporary ban of some refugees will end later that month.

“This is the lowest refugee cap that’s been instituted ever in U.S. history,” said Stanford T. Prescott, community engagement coordinator at the International Rescue Committee, or IRC, in Glendale.

Data from the first 11 months of the current fiscal year show a 48 percent drop in the number of displaced people IRC helped move to the metro Phoenix area, according to numbers provided by Prescott. IRC is one of several organizations that help refugees resettle in the Valley.     

“It would not be unreasonable to suspect there will be a further decline under the new refugee cap,” Prescott said.

The U.S. took in about 54,000 refugees this year. Security and safety are the main driving forces for reducing next year’s cap, and the U.S. will still take in more refugees than any other country, federal officials said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to correct the title of Stanford T. Prescott.