The Trump administration wants to lower the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. to the lowest it’s been in 40 years—limiting the country to resettling only 18,000 refugees next year, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
According to the paper, this would be a 40 (yes, four zero) percent drop from 2019. For context, President Barack Obama’s administration resettled almost 85,000 refugees in his final year.
Under plan, which is set to begin at the start of fiscal year 2020 on Oct. 1, per the Post:
5,000 refugee slots to people fleeing for religious reasons, 4,000 for Iraqis who assisted the United States and fall under the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act of 2007, and 1,500 for nationals of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, according to senior administration officials. Another 7,500 slots would go to refugees not covered by these categories, including those referred to the program by U.S. embassies.
This is, obviously, vastly different even from the 2018 refugee resettlement cap. Firstly, it had 30,000 spots to work with. But it also divided refugees up by regions, giving 11,000 to refugees from Africa.
The administration blamed those seeking asylum—another program they’re working to drastically change. They claimed the number of asylum seekers caused “an unprecedented asylum workload” for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli told the Post.
Another infuriating part of this whole mess (you know, besides the games being played with the lives of desperately vulnerable people) is that administration is required to consult with leaders in Congress before adjusting refugee caps and surprise surprise, the Trump administration isn’t doing so! Read the entire report from The Washington Post here to raise your blood pressure.
I mean, you either believe the words of Emma Lazarus or you don’t. It’s pretty clear those working in the Trump administration do not.