Officials within the Trump administration have proposed cutting the number of refugees it admits into the U.S. next year to almost zero, according to Politico, which heard of the plan from several anonymous sources.
According to Politico’s sources an official from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services who is close with Trump’s awful white nationalist adviser Stephen Miller proposed setting the refugee cap at zero. Other officials from the Department of Homeland Security proposed caps of 3,000 or 10,000.
Aside from those suffering under violence and oppression around the world, the refugee program is also used to save Iraqis who risked their lives aiding the U.S. in our war there. The Department of Defense has advocated for these people, but not consistently. There are currently 100,000 Iraqis in the queue to become refugees, but only 140 entered the U.S. so far this year.
The Trump administration has already dramatically cut refugee admissions, despite their own reports’ acknowledgment that they don’t pose a security threat. This year, the cap was cut by one third, to 30,000.
State agencies declined Politico’s request for comment.
At the meeting, officials apparently argued that the refugee program was unnecessary, because the administration could use the asylum process for humanitarian aid. But Trump has also sought to dramatically scale back the asylum program. This week, the administration announced a new policy that would bar anyone who crossed through another country before arriving in the U.S. from receiving asylum.
The administration has until next month to set the cap for 2020.
“We don’t get the final number until September, and things can change,” a pro-refugee advocate told Politico. “But the conversation being where it is now is alarming.”