Trump Administration Proposes Setting Refugee Cap At 18,000

By Matthew Casey
Associated Press
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 6:08pm
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 9:09am
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The Trump administration aims to resettle no more than 18,000 refugees throughout the United States in the new fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

The proposal would be the lowest cap in decades.

Refugee resettlements have plunged under President Donald Trump. Capping them at 18,000 would be a 40% drop from this fiscal year.

But there’s still a chance it won’t be final. Trump has to consult with Congress, which can push for a higher ceiling.

The proposal is a sad choice, said Stanford Prescott, community engagement coordinator for the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix. He also said refugees are an integral part of Arizona.

“They start businesses. They fill needed jobs. They start their families here and their kids go to school. And refugees are a key part of who we are as a state,” Prescott said.

Congress should pass a law that sets a yearly goal of resettling 95,000 refugees, Prescott said.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan released a written statement.

"The United States has always been and will always remain the most generous nation in the world when it comes to welcoming those in need of humanitarian protection, including refugees, asylees, and victims of trafficking," the statement says. "The Administration’s proposal for refugee admissions in Fiscal Year 2020 will allow the Department of Homeland Security to focus on addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border, reducing a staggering asylum backlog that unfairly delays relief for those with meritorious claims, and completing more overall cases in an increasingly multifaceted humanitarian workload. The refugee proposal also supports U.S. foreign policy interests, and the Department’s engagement with regional and international partners, by offering nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras the opportunity to seek refugee status close to home rather than embark on a dangerous and often futile journey to the United States in the hands of smugglers and criminal organizations. I look forward to consulting with Congress regarding this proposal, as well as DHS’ ongoing efforts to address the border crisis, uphold the rule of law, and restore integrity to the immigration system."

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