Trump Administration Slashes Refugee Cap Again — Down to a Historic Low of 18,000

According to reporting from The Washington Post, the Trump Administration is set to cut the refugee limit down to 18,000 for the upcoming fiscal year. Not only has President Trump slashed the number of refugees every year that he has been in office, but this will be the lowest cap in the nearly 40-year history of the modern American refugee resettlement program. 

The United States is Failing Refugees

The need for refugee resettlement is growing. According to the latest information from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are currently more than 70 million displaced people worldwide. And yet, tragically, the U.S. is reducing the number of spots that are for people who are fleeing persecution. For reference, the refugee cap set by the U.S. government over the last six years has been: 

  • 2014: 100,000
  • 2015: 110,000
  • 2016: 110,000
  • 2017: 110,000
  • 2018: 30,000
  • 2019: 18,000

The trend is clear and startling: In just a few shorts years, President Trump has essentially destroyed America’s refugee resettlement program.

Executive Order: State and Local Governments Can Ban Refugee Resettlement

Beyond cutting the refugee limit, President Trump also signed an executive order that allows state and local government to ban refugee resettlement in their specific jurisdiction. It remains to be seen how many state/local governments will actually choose to do so. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration refuses to let immigrant-friendly jurisdictions exercise the same amount of local control. For example, a city like Los Angeles is forbidden from taking in additional refugees—even though other cities could potentially bar refugee resettlement altogether.  

Even President Trump’s Allies Believe the Administration is Too Extreme

The Trump Administration’s continued trimming of the refugee cap is an extreme position. Even some of the president’s most fierce political allies have voiced public opposition to his refugee policy. In response to the announcement that the refugee ceiling was being cut, Senator James Lankford (Republican-Oklahoma) stated that “I’m disappointed to see that the administration has once again decided to decrease the number of refugees.

It is crucial that we acknowledge just how far the Trump Administration has gone to curb immigrant rights. In the last two years, the administration has cut refugee resettlement by more than 80 percent. This is despite the fact that the American refugee resettlement policy has been one of the most successful programs in U.S. history. Refugees who are fleeing persecution in their native countries need protection. Denying them that is antithetical to our most basic American values. 

Get Help From Our Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Today

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, we strongly support refugee rights. If you need help from an experienced immigration attorney, please call us 213-262-2000 to set up a confidential assessment of your case. We serve clients throughout Greater Los Angeles, including in Monterey Park, Rosemead, Burbank, East Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Pico Rivera.