There are now fewer refugees being allowed to resettle in the U.S. under President Trump’s administration.
This year alone, refugee resettlement in the U.S. is 40 % less compared to the previous fiscal year. The new refugee policy of the Trump administration is evident in the case of Syrian refugees. Previously, the outgoing Obama administration had set a goal of resettling 110,000 refugees for 2017. Trump cut Obama’s refugee resettlement goal in half.
When Trump took over in January following his astounding victory over Hillary Clinton in last year’s election, one of the first actions he set as the new President was to freeze all Syrian refugee resettlement in the U.S., as well as to cut the overall U.S. resettlement for the rest of the year.
Such determined policy of the Trump administration on refugees holds true even if the number of refugees worldwide has risen to its all-time high record since the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was founded in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Today, the UNHCR global number of refugees stand at 22.5 million people, including 5.1 million Palestinian refugees. Over all, 65.6 million people had been displaced forcibly by end of 2016.
For this year, the U.S. resettled 53,716 refugees, down from 84,994 from last year. It is likely that the number would go even lower next year. President Trump is pushing for the cap number of refugees admitted at 45,000 for 2018. Such would translate to a 19 percent decrease from 2017 figures.
Such policy of the Trump administration on putting a cap on the coming of refugees to the country has drawn criticisms from Democrats and other civil society groups including the International Rescue Committee, a non-profit humanitarian aid organization. But the tough stance of Trump on limiting refugees will likely remain, no matter the expected backlash from liberals.
California continues to top the states in accepting the most number of refugees, with 105,000 refugees settled from 2002-2017. But this year is also seeing a dramatic drop in the refugee resettlement numbers of California as an effect of Trump’s refugee restrictions.
California has resettle over the last 12 months 35 percent fewer refugees compared to the previous year. Among those resettled in California this year are from Iran at 1,341, Iraq at 1.025, Ukraine with 846 refugees and Syria with 641.
U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) both support Trump’s 45,000 cap.
The two are also pushing for legislation that would give state and local governments the power to decide if they approve of refugees being resettled in their communities. They are also proposing to give Congress, instead of the President, the authority to set the overall refugee cap for each year. They are also suggesting that immigration officials should have the authority to review the publicly available internet and social media postings of refugee applicants. For Goodlatte such measures are needed in light also of terrorist threats all over the world.