Wednesday the Trump Administration announced its plans to cap the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the United States at 45,000 for 2018. This figure is the lowest since the modern refugee admission system was put in place in 1980.
The Obama Administration set the cap at 110,000 for 2017 but only about half that number has been reached due to the Trump Administration’s temporary ban on refugee resettlement. Refugee resettlement agencies are asking for at least 75,000 to deal with the humanitarian needs around the world.
According to CNN, the US plans to admit no more than 45,000 refugees in the coming year, with regional caps of 19,000 for Africa, 17,500 for the Near East and South Asia (which includes most Middle Eastern countries), 5,000 for East Asia, 2,000 for Europe and Central Asia, and 1,500 for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Although the debate is often labeled as between humanitarian goals and national security, the Trump Administration has argued the economic aspect of the matter.
“For the cost of resettling one refugee in the U.S., we can assist more than 10 in their home region,” President Trump said in a speech to the United Nations earlier this month as told on NPR.
Critics argue that refugees help stimulate the economy and that they are some of the most vetted individuals as the refugee screening and resettlement process takes between 18-24 months on average.