WASHINGTON, D.C. — With 22.5 million refugees worldwide, the Trump administration plans to admit a maximum of 45,000 during the fiscal year that begins Sunday.
The cap is the lowest since the Refugee Act of 1980 created the modern Refugee Resettlement Program. The president is expected to sign and formally announce the number in coming days.
News of the expected cap emerged Wednesday, the same day the Trump administration consulted with Congress. “We are incredibly frustrated that the annual consultation for refugee admissions, which is required by law, was finalized just one day in advance,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (California) said in a joint statement Wednesday.
The administration has cited security as the “chief concern” around refugee resettlement. Longstanding security measures take 18 to 24 months and make refugees the most scrutinized of anyone who tries to enter the country.
“With the world experiencing one of the worst refugee crises in modern history, we are turning our backs and surrendering our leadership and moral authority,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director at the National Immigration Forum.
“We should not arbitrarily turn away victims of terrorism and other forms of violence and persecution who meet our stringent security requirements. A record low cap defies American values.”