Trump to slash refugees intake

Donald Trump Mariano Rajoy

Donald Trump Mariano Rajoy

The Trump administration wants to cap the number of refugees admitted to the U.S.at 45,000 during the next fiscal year.

He made the issue a focus during the presidential campaign, advocating for a wall along the USA border with Mexico and the deportation of immigrants in the country illegally, and saying that Syrian refugees fleeing their country's civil war present a security threat to the United States.

Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, set the cap on refugee resettlement at 110,000 in his past year, more than double what Trump is proposing.

Notably, this cap does not include an "unallocated reserve" quota for the administration to respond to unforeseen upticks in refugees, according to the CNN.

For fiscal year 2017, which ends September 30, former President established a cap of 110,000 refugees for permanent resettlement in the United States. That order bars refugees without a "bona fide" link to the USA from entering until it expires October 24.

The former official, who favored a higher number, said the decision will undermine the US ability to persuade nations such as Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon that have accepted huge flows of Syrian refugees to keep admitting them as well as to convince donor nations to keep up financial contributions for refugees.

- Refugee advocates and rights agencies kick against the move. Former President Barack Obama had placed a 110,000 limit on refugees past year, in part to take in a growing number of Syrian refugees displaced around the world. In 2002, refugee admissions plunged from 70,000 to 27,000, and to 28,000 the next year.

After he took office in January, Trump suspended refugee admissions for 120 days and cut the cap to 50,000.

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"Since our nation's tragic failure to help Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler, we have set an example for the world by providing safe haven to the world's most vulnerable people", Mr Durbin said in a statement, calling Mr Trump's proposal "an abdication".

Administration officials planned to inform senior lawmakers of the decision yesterday, according to the officials, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorised to pre-empt a formal announcement.

Turkey hosts as many as three million refugees, and Lebanon hosts more than a million, many of them Syrian nationals.

"Refugee resettlement agencies are disappointed with the 45,000 cap, which they say falls far short of what's necessary to meet growing humanitarian needs around the world".

"While maintaining the United States leadership role in humanitarian protection, an integral part of this mission is to ensure that refugee resettlement opportunities go only to those who are eligible for such protection and who do not present a risk to the safety and security of our country", a State Department report seen by British newspaper The Guardian reads.

"It's really moving away from the commitments the government has had for the protections of refugees from both Republican and Democratic administrations", he said.

Officials said the administration doesn't plan to keep the suspension in place after the 120-day period ends next month.

Critics slammed the new cap as insufficient, noting that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates about 22.5 million refugees around the world, the largest estimate in U.N. history. From Albert Einstein to Madeleine Albright to Sergey Brin to so many others, refugees have benefited the United States enormously.

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